For years, the advice for those that want to lose the extra pounds has been pretty simple: Consume less calories, burn more.
But new research has discovered that the key to losing weight is more subtle than that. “The quality of your diet is a lot more important than the number of calories,” explains JoAnn Manson.
Instead of counting calories of any type, it’s better to focus on consuming nutritious foods that are more satisfying. A high-quality diet will make it easier to manage calories.
1 — You are Fixated on “Calories out, Calories in”
When trying to prevent obesity, “it has a lot to do with the quality of your diet and the different habits that people might get into, such as snacking often,” says Manson.
For example: A diet that is heavy in processed foods like cookies and chips will raise your blood sugar level, which will generate insulin spikes and lead to a more frequent sense of hunger, even if you are working out often at the gym. That craving for more processed foods could hinder even the most dedicated marathoner.
2 — You are Eating Foods That Do Not Satisfy You
“Foods like that don’t tend to lead to satisfaction, so you tend to eat too much, and the foods arn’t nutritious,” says Manson. “A high-quality eating routine is something similar to the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, fish and fruits, while consuming a low amount of processed foods, processed meats and red meat.”
3 — You are Not Snacking Right
“For a snack, if you get hungry during the day, you are having a handful of nuts in place of a bag of potato chips or donuts,” says Manson. “These are the kinds of dietary changes that could lead to greater satiety, less total calorie intake and also improve nutrition.”
4 — You’re Not Consuming These Types of Vegetables
“Non-starchy veggies and whole grains are really filling,” says Manson. Consuming more of those grains and vegetables, instead of starchy veggies (like peas and potatoes) and white- or processed-flour products could keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing. Non-starchy veggies include broccoli, beans, carrots, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, salad greens, mushrooms.
5 — You’re Not Moving Enough
“Everyday behaviors that can raise your chances of obesity include frequent nighttime eating, snacking, consuming beverages/foods that are low in nutrients and high in sugar (e.g, regular soda), sitting for long periods, and not enough daily activity,” says Kirsten Davison, Ph.D., professor for research at Boston College. Even before the covid virus locked us down, only about 1 in 5 U.S. adults got adequate exercise. According to the American Heart Association, two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week is the amount of exercise you should be getting.
Author: Scott Dowdy