No doubt you’ve come across countless weight loss strategies on the Internet.
Calorie counting programs, specially formulated drinks and pills, and even invasive surgeries.
But what if there is a giant elephant in the room and the key is so simple it would shock you?
It turns out that may be the case.
Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences conducted a trial to determine the effects of processed and unprocessed food diets on our health.
Their results, published in the journal Cell Metabolism in 2019, might just take the lid off the whole thing, revealing the simplicity of weight management and health and how obvious these transformative concepts really are.
The researchers randomized 20 weight-stable adults participants to receive an ultra-processed or unprocessed diet for two weeks followed by the other diet for two weeks.
Each diet was matched for calories, energy density, macronutrients, sugar, sodium, and fiber. Subjects were instructed to eat as much or as little as they wanted.
The results were stunning.
While on the ultra-processed diet, energy intake was much higher (508 kcal/day +/- 106), carbohydrate intake was higher (280 kcal/day +/- 54), fat intake was up (230 kcal/day +/- 53) while protein intake was similar in both.
The big takeaway, though?
While eating the ultra-processed diet, participants gained almost 1kg.
On the other hand, while eating the unprocessed diet, they lost almost 1kg.
The researchers came to the obvious conclusion that the “data suggest that eliminating ultra-processed foods from the diet decreases energy intake and results in weight loss, whereas a diet with a large proportion of ultra-processed food increases energy intake and leads to weight gain.”
So, if you are looking to get your weight and health in line, it seems an easy place to start is by adopting a whole food diet and eliminating the processed foods you find in the middle of the grocery store.
From there you can start to make choices regarding which whole foods are ideal to optimize your life.
But getting the processed, sugar-laden, refined carb-heavy foods out of your diet can seemingly do wonders on its own.
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