Recent studies seem to indicate that counting calories is not the answer to weight loss, what matters is rather what is eaten and who is eating it.
Are you still counting calories?
Raise your hand.
I have good news for you, you can stop.
But what should you do instead?
Eating wholesome, non-processed quality food is a good start. Eating food that fits your lifestyle and genetic composition is the next step and, ultimately, using a holistic body-mind-soul approach is the key to permanent weight loss.
Some information to support my claim:
Researchers in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health show us that quality is in fact very important in determining what we should eat to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, the notion that “a calorie is a calorie” does not tell the whole story.
One study of 120,000 healthy women and men spanning 20 years, associated weight gain with the intake of potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and both processed and unprocessed red meats. Foods shown to be associated with weight loss were vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt.
Another study showed that a low carb diet had better success in weight loss and also had a positive impact on overall health and metabolic rates improving cholesterol levels, body fat percentage, glucose levels and blood pressure.
A different interesting finding showed that, with the same carbohydrates intake, the weight loss of the study group of 800 people stayed the same over 2 years, regardless of the protein-fat ratio. However, participants attendance to counselling sessions seemed to be directly related to greater weight loss and a better chance of keeping the excess weight off in the long term.
Yet another study showed that the best way to keep the weight off after losing it was achieved through a high-protein and low-glycemic-index diet.
The results from these studies suggest that there may be some benefits to a macronutrient-based dietary approach, but further research also shows that while a particular diet may result in weight loss for one person, it may not be as effective for another due to individual differences in genes and lifestyle.
In a nutshell, to achieve the best results and maintain them, the best approach is to develop a personalized program based on wholesome food. It needs to be adjusted to the person’s lifestyle and genes while taking into account behavioral, psychological, and social factors through coaching; these are the factors that will help achieve the best and healthiest long-term weight loss.
Here are some simple guidelines to a healthy long-term weight
- Eat a diet based on whole unprocessed foods
- Eat plenty of rainbow-colored vegetables and fruits, ideally raw or lightly steamed
- Choose high quality protein with a preference for plant-based protein; beans and lentils are great options. Avoid or reduce meat, favor wild-caught fish 2/week (pescatarians live 19% longer than omnivores).
- Avoid or reduce dairy. Try to use nut milk products, prefer goat cheese
- Eat a handful of nuts or seeds and have 2 spoons of healthy oils such as virgin olive oil (do not heat). Virgin coconut oil (can be used for cooking), unprocessed nut or seed oils
- Have small quantities of whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa (actually a seed) and oats
- Adjust your diet to your lifestyle and genes with the help of a nutrition or health coach.
- Drink lots of water (at least 8-10 big glasses a day)
- Live an active and fulfilling lifestyle
- Stop counting calories
It almost sounds too simple but it isn’t. This is all there is to permanent weight loss.
I always welcome your feedback don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more, I would love to hear from you.
By: Andrea Caprio
Holistic Nutrition and Wellness coach
Wellness Methods offers tailor-made Corporate Wellness programs, Health and Nutrition Coaching for busy people
Copyright Wellness Methods All Rights Reserved. www.wellnessmethods.com Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace a one on one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Wellness Methods, its officers, affiliates, employees and Andrea Caprio encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. The entire contents of this document are based upon the opinions of Andrea Caprio and any mentioned sources, unless otherwise noted.