I just love when a study comes out that confirms what I have been saying all along. Recently, a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods, without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes, lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.
My Today’s the Day Plan focuses on eating fresh, whole, properly raised/grown, one-ingredient foods in a form as close to how God created them. I do not like counting calories and I never ask clients to do that either. I do recommend, however, that they keep a food log. It has not only been proven to help people lose more weight, it encourages you to pay attention to how foods affect you. I do ask them to pay attention to the quality of the foods they are putting into their bodies as fuel.
The study concluded that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose and manage their weight most easily in the long run regardless of whether it is low fat or low carb. Today’s the Day is a low carb plan because I find most people eat too many grains and starchy carbs (which turn quickly to sugar) and it stalls their ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight. That being said, some people need more carbs. We are all one-of-a-kind individuals with our own unique metabolisms. Some people do best on mostly veggies while others feel weak and lethargic without animal protein. Neither is wrong. That’s why my plan is a blueprint. We adjust it to fit the person’s unique metabolic make up and needs. The point is choosing the healthiest ones – quality is what matters most.
The study also suggests people should be encouraged to avoid processed foods made with refined starches and added sugar, like bagels, white bread, refined flour and sugary snacks and beverages. That is essentially what I recommend. It’s very encouraging to me to see a study that focuses on food quality. Your body is Intelligently created and knows the difference between 1,000 calories of junk food and 1,000 calories of real food. You may be able to fool yourself into thinking it doesn’t matter, but you won’t fool your body.
What I found fascinating was that both groups participating ultimately ended up consuming fewer calories on average by the end of the study, even though they were not conscious of it and they did it by focusing on nutritious whole foods that satisfied their hunger. When you eat “real food” you satisfy yourself at the cellular level. You don’t just fill your belly and expand your waistline!
Do you regularly count calories or do you focus on food quality?
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