Weight management: how to eat more to lose more

What we eat is more important than calories consumed, or energy burned when it comes to health and weight management.

A Dutch research team has provided a fresh insight to what this can mean. Using health information from an ongoing study of over 9500 adults, the team focused on the participants’ diet, BMI, waist circumference, weight in relation to height (fat mass index), and body fat percentage. Using a scoring system to categorize the amount of plant-based foods the participants consumed compared with the amount of animal-based food they consumed, the team found that people eating higher levels of plant-based foods were more likely to have a lower BMI over the long-term.

The association held up even after taking into account other factors that could have influenced the results, such as total energy intake, levels of physical activity, and socioeconomic background. The higher scores were also linked with lower waist circumference and lower body fat percentage.

The study suggested the associations are stronger in people aged 45–65 than those over 65, but what is also interesting there were various ways that the participants could achieve the higher scores without becoming entirely vegan or vegetarian, while also eating more food; e.g. swapping 50g of red meat for 200g of vegetables each day would be enough to give someone a high score.

Of course, the findings were observational and did not prove causality, but the fact remains a link was established between a high plant-based diet and reduced likelihood of being overweight or obese. As we know, it’s a lot easier to over-eat meat – never mind biscuits or cake – than it is fibre rich plant-based foods, so satiety may be a big clue to the difference between the groups.

If you want to eat more as you try to lose weight – vegetables might be the answer!

Make eating real food Just Routine

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