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Diet Not Enough to KEEP Pounds Off

A study published in the November 2008 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that simply dieting and eating less fat is not enough to keep lost weight off.

For the study, researchers followed 125 men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. All of the participants had recently lost at least 8 percent of their body weight and were trying to keep that weight off.

The researchers randomly assigned participants to one of three diets for six months.

The first diet included a moderate amount of fat (35-45 percent of calories), mostly from healthier sources like olive oil. The second diet consisted of a low fat diet (20-30 percent of calories) but did not specify what kind of fats could be consumed. The final diet was 35 percent fat, which acted as the control.

After six months, all of the dieters regained their lost weight. Participants in both the low fat diet and the high fat diet from healthier sources did experience less weight gain than the control group, but they still gained back most of the weight they had lost.

Researchers also analyzed risk factors for diabetes and heart disease and found that the diet that included mostly healthy fats like olive oil lowered these risk factors when compared to a traditional western diet.

Experts seem to agree that the results of this study are not all that surprising. According to Lona Sandon, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, the trick to keeping off lost pounds is less about diet and more about increasing activity levels and exercise.

Previous studies have shown that eating a high protein breakfast, eating food slowly, and minimizing distractions like watching television while eating, may also help keep the weight off.
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