Know Food Now What You Eat Matters - Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss | Know Food Now

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What You Eat Matters - Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

Normally I illustrate my blogs with photos that define my point with humor or visual appeal. The albeit disgusting image on the left is not my usual tactic. But, it drives home the point that what you eat matters. So look at it and weep. Fat loss is the key component to weight loss and better health through diet.

A recent Harvard study looked at weight gain over time in a non-obese population. They wanted to find out what  lifestyle changes might prevent age related weight creep. 

Participants ate 3 different types of diets over 4 years and consumed excess calories for research purposes. The participants on the low protein diet gained about half as much weight as those on the normal and high protein diets, but the amount of body fat for the participants in all three groups increased by approximately the same amount.

The body converts excess calories, whether from "good" foods or bad into fat. 
Eating more or less of any one food or beverage may change the total amount of energy consumed, but the magnitude of associated weight gain varied for specific foods and beverages. 

It seems redundant to list high calorie foods that you should not eat. Indeed the study suggests that it is how much you eat rather than what you eat that is the culprit to fat creation. But reiterating here that the consumption of french fries leads to a a 3.4lb weight gain in 4 years may stop you from eating them. Potato chips, sugar drinks, red/processed meats, potatoes, desserts, refined grains, fried foods, 100% fruit juice and butter are on the list of usual suspects.  People increase their caloric intake of these foods because they are less satisfying when consumed.


Counter intuitively, the study states that dairy products (non-fat or regular) have a neutral effect on weight and that people who ate more yogurt and nuts had the greatest weight loss over the 4 year period. The conclusion:  substituting more satisfying calories, even in greater quantities, reduces the intake of other higher calorie foods.


Another study result relates to the BMI index. BMI calculations are based solely on height and weight and may mislead doctors about obesity risk. When looking at health, fat reduction is more important than weight loss.


The longer term Harvard Nurses Health Study (NHS), 12-20 years, is more evidence that the source of calories is significant.  Our findings suggest that both individual and population-based strategies to help people consume fewer calories may be most effective when particular foods and beverages are targeted for decreased (or increased) consumption.


What you eat matters.


Article first published as What You Eat Matters - Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss on Technorati.

1 comment :

  1. This way you consume most of the fats before the workout and only a smaller quantity after, just to help you recover. As for the sources of healthy fats, Seth likes olive oil, natural peanut butter and whole eggs with Omega 3. He usually adds the olive oil to the chicken and rice, he eats the peanut butter straight from the jar and consumes the eggs on the first and the last meal of the day.

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