It doesn’t sound very groundbreaking, does it? However, thousands of us struggle everyday with complex diets – we eat at certain times, we cut out certain nutrients, we take supplements, we fast, we eat from tiny crockery and drink copious amounts of water…but do these elaborate diets actually work or are we missing the trick?
Forget wheatgrass smoothies and difficult no-carb diets; now researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) say the number one best way to trim your love handles safely and sustainably is to trim your fat intake.
The study, commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), involved 73,589 women, men and children of varying physical health.
The results suggest that you don’t have to eat less to lose weight – you simply have to eat food with less fat content.
When participants exchanged food like butter, yoghurt, milk, biscuits, cakes, fatty meat and crisps for healthier alternatives, they lost an average of 1.6kg and reduced their waist circumference by 0.5cm.
Although this is not a dramatic loss, it is a sustainable and easy one.
Lead researcher Dr Lee Hooper from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “The weight reduction that we found when people ate less fat was remarkably consistent – we saw it in almost every trial. Those who cut down more on fat, lost more weight.”
She explains that by cutting down on the amount of fat we eat, we can significantly reduce the chance of developing heart disease and suffering strokes.
Dr Hooper recommends cutting the fat off meat, opting for low fat milk and yoghurt, eating less butter and cheese, and swapping biscuits, cake and crisps for fruit snacks.
She says it is also important to keep physically active, drink alcohol in moderation, avoid cigarettes, eat plenty of vegetables and get enough fluid throughout the day.
Findings from this research, published in the British Medical Journal, are expected to become part of the global nutrition recommendations.
We are all different and we all have different nutritional needs. If you would like a weight-loss plan tailored to your body, a nutritionist could help. Find out more by visiting our Weight Management page.
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