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Cutting Calories Wins the Battle of the Bulge
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 66% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. With all of the diet information out there, you would think that more people would be losing weight and living a healthier life. But America isn't losing the extra pounds -- we are losing the battle of the bulge.
America began to see obesity levels rise at the same time as the introduction of the "low-fat" diet. Many people blamed the "low-fat" diet fad as the culprit of America's expanding waistline and began encouraging high-protein low carbohydrate diets as the answer.
However, according to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a low-fat diet isn't any better or worse than a low-carbohydrate diet. In the largest weight loss study ever conducted, 800 participants in 2 different states (Louisiana and Boston) were followed for 2 years as they adhered to one of four diets. Each of the four diets followed in the study reduced calories in different ways, either through fat, carbohydrates and/or proteins. No one ate less than 1,200 calories each day.
Every person in each of the 4 diet groups lost weight -- regardless of what diet plan they followed. The average research participant lost 13 pounds in six months and had maintained a 9-pound weight loss after 2 years. Results of the study showed that each diet group lost "about the same amount of weight" regardless of what diet they were following.
So what did the study show? It proved the age-old adage that weight loss happens when a person burns or uses more calories than they consume. The problem is many Americans are eating more calories than they burn off in their daily activities and/or exercise. And many people aren't aware of what and how much they are really eating calorically. The cause of the rising obesity epidemic cannot be blamed on a food group or fad diet. It has been caused by Americans consuming too many calories and not exercising enough.
There is no hidden secret, pill or fad diet that guarantees weight loss. Cutting out carbohydrates, sugar, fat or protein won't magically melt the pounds off. But cutting calories will. Where you choose to cut those calories, whether it's avoiding bread, sweets, meat or full-fat dairy products, is up to you.
Want to lose weight? Start here:
- Learn how many calories you should be eating according to age, gender, height, weight and physical activity levels.
- Learn more about what the recommended physical activity is for someone like you.