A new study suggests that eating less does not necessarily lead to weight loss, but eating healthier surely does. Penn State University researchers found that even thought both strategies are clever, smarter food choices are the key to long-term weight loss.
Researcher Faris Zuraikat explained that picking healthy foods that are low calorie are more sustainable than trying to just trim the portions of high calories foods. If you manage to eat smaller portions of high-calories foods, you’ll end up getting hungry sooner.
In the U.S., there is a widespread phenomenon of larger portion sizes, but the quality of food we put on our plates has decreased dramatically. This may be why so many Americans are now considered overweight or obese.
So, people think that reducing the portions could help them shed those extra pounds. However, they do not know that those portions need to contain “healthy” food as well in order for the diet plan to be sustainable.
For the study, which appeared in the journal Appetite, researchers recruited around 100 women. Of these, one third had a healthy weight, one third were overweight, with the rest being overweight but well aware of the benefits of portion control and eating healthy.
For four weeks, volunteers were given healthy foods like salads with not-so-healthy foods like bruschetta. During those weeks, study authors gradually increased women’s portion sizes without telling them. Towards the end of the study period, portion sizes nearly doubled.
Researchers noticed that women tended to eat more when portion sizes were hiked even if they had received portion control training. Yet, those with the training had a lower calorie intake per day than those without training because they ate healthier, nutrient-rich foods.
Study authors concluded that smaller portion sizes alone do not promote weight loss if healthy food choices are not made.
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