Eating less doesn’t prevent weight gain

Eating less doesn’t prevent weight gain

For years, we’ve heard the mantra: Eat less, exercise more! With this tried-and-true formula, anyone can lose weight — or so we’re told.

This message has been pushed for decades, but it hasn’t made a dent in obesity cases, which affect nearly half of all Americans.

In a new study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers suggest that weight loss is more dependent on what you eat than how much you eat. They encouraged people to rethink calorie counting and instead focus on restricting intake of processed foods.

This thinking differs from the previous model, which framed energy imbalance — too much food and not enough movement — as the cause of obesity. New research says the problem goes deeper.

Foods with high levels of simple carbohydrates, like fries and pizza, are a major risk factor for weight gain. They tend to lack fiber and nutrients, which trick our bodies into thinking we are being deprived.

Researchers dubbed this new rationale the Carbohydrate-Insulin Model. Eating too many processed foods can increase insulin resistance, which signals to our bodies that we need to store fat while keeping us ravenous for more nutrients.

To combat this, researchers say a shift to eating more natural foods is in order. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are all nutrient-rich alternatives that can reinvigorate our systems.

So, if you’ve been frustrated by attempts to diet, don’t worry so much about budgeting your calories at the grocery store or drive-thru. Instead, focus on eating foods as close to nature as possible, and see if you have more success.

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