If you are overweight or just want to lose a few pounds to feel more confident about your appearance, then you have likely tried to shed the pounds without luck.
This is very common, because the internet is filled with weight-loss tips and tricks that just don’t work, and many people try them and then feel doomed to be overweight forever when they just don’t work.
To finally lose the excess weight, you need to forget about all of those weight-loss “tricks” that are not backed by science and finally begin following the best diet for weight loss that is actually backed by rigorous scientific studies conducted at Harvard University.
Don’t worry that this diet will be another one filled with strange, strict eating do’s and don’ts, because you can follow this diet while still eating your favorite foods. Read on to learn about the studies conducted at Harvard University that provide knowledge you can use to create the perfect weight loss diet for you.
1. The “Quality Counts” Study
Have you tried counting calories and failed? While losing weight does rely on eating fewer calories than you burn off each day, a Harvard study showed that even strict calorie counting can fail if the foods you eat to fulfill your calorie requirements are unhealthy.
100,000 People Over 20 Years
When conducting this study, Harvard scientists tracked the weights and eating habits of over 100,000 people for an astounding 20 years. What they found was that regardless of whether study participants were intentionally counting their daily calorie intakes or not, during periods of time when they were gaining weight, they tended to eat more of specific “low-quality” foods, and during time periods when they were losing weight, they tended to eat more specific “high-quality” foods.
Which low-quality foods led to the most weight gain? Beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, such as soda pop; potato chips; other processed “junk” foods; potatoes; and red meat.
Red Meat and Potatoes
While the fact that sugar-sweetened beverages and potato chips led to weight gain may not be so surprising, the fact that red meat and potatoes, which are typically regarded as relatively healthy foods, led to it may be very surprising. However, red meat tends to be much higher in saturated fat than poultry and fish, and this is likely why it contributes to weight gain.
Do you love potatoes and still want to include them in your diet, despite hearing that they can lead to weight gain? Don’t worry, because the study grouped all potato dishes together, and many people likely ate them deep fried or covered in butter and cheese. Potatoes can be part of a healthy diet as long as you don’t deep fry them and limit fatty toppings.
High Quality Foods
Which high-quality foods led to the most weight loss? Unprocessed whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and yogurt.
While most foods on this list likely come as no surprise, if you are like many dieters, you may cut nuts out of your diet when trying to lose weight due to the simple fact that they can contain a lot of calories. While nuts are not a low-calorie foods, other studies have found that people who eat nuts tend to be thinner than people who don’t for an unknown reason.
2. Multiple Studies Reveal that Low-fat Diets Don’t Work
While there are certain health conditions that can benefit from a low-fat diet, if your doctor has never advised you to reduce your fat intake for your health, then there is no reason to stick to a low-fat diet to lose weight.
In fact, one Harvard study revealed that those who ate full-fat dairy products were less prone to being overweight or obese than those who stuck to fat-free or low-fat dairy.
Another study conducted at the university compared weight-loss results of those following low-carbohydrate(high fat), Mediterranean(moderate fat), and low-fat diets. While many followers of the low-carb and Mediterranean diets were able to lose weight, and very importantly, keep it off long-term, those who followed low-fat diets either didn’t lose weight or lost a little and then gained it back.
Remember that those who at high-fat diets were eating few to no carbohydrates, so don’t try a high-fat diet unless you are also ready to cut out the carbs. If you want to eat healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and dairy products, while losing weight, then keep your fat intake moderate.
Followers of the Mediterranean diet keep their daily fat intake at about 35-percent of their total daily calorie intake, so this is a good number to shoot for if you plan to eat a diet that contains both carbohydrates and fat.
If you have made many attempts to lose weight by following fad diets or simply counting calories, yet still eating mostly unhealthy foods, then take these Harvard studies into consideration when forming the best diet for weight loss for you.
Remember that exercise can help you lose weight and improve your overall health, if you begin exercising without changing your eating habits, you will have much more difficulty losing weight, especially if follow up your trips to the gym with unhealthy foods.