Home Weight Loss The Key to Losing Weight—And It’s Not Counting Calories

The Key to Losing Weight—And It’s Not Counting Calories

Tracking how many calories you consume may not be the secret to steady weight loss, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Instead, focusing on the kind of foods you eat—especially avoiding sugar and processed foods—plays a bigger role in slimming down than tracking how much you eat.

How the Weight Loss Study Was Conducted

Interestingly, the Stamford University researchers wanted to compare two kinds of diets— low carb versus low fat—too see if one was more effective than the other. In this study, 609 participants were enlisted to follow one of two sets of guidelines about what they ate and drank. Half of the group ate a healthy low-carb diet while the other half ate a healthy low-fat diet. Instead of focusing on the calorie counts of what they ate, these groups focused on the quality of their foods. Both groups avoided foods with added sugars, processed foods, and refined grains. At the end of the year long study, both groups lost a significant amount of weight. The average weight loss for those on the healthy low-carb diet was about 13 pounds while the healthy low-fat group lost 11.7 pounds.

What to Eat If You Want to Lose Weight

Instead of focusing on how much you’re eating, pay attention to what kinds of foods you’re eating if you want to try and lose weight. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind when it comes to the amount of food you eat. The researchers believe that the participants reduced their caloric intake subconsciously by trying to eat a more nutritious diet. Eating healthy foods satisfied their hunger even though they were taking in fewer calories. But because neither group focused on portion sizes, yet still lost weight, the researchers believe that eating whole foods and plenty of vegetables was the most important aspect of the diets. This means that avoiding sugar, refined grains, and processed foods are the key to steady weight loss that lasts for the long term.