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No Matter What You Do, It’s The Calories That Matter

Posted Feb 01 2012 4:48am

There are as many ways to try to lose weight as there are types of flowers – or so it often seems. There’s been the low-carb craze, the high-carb craze, the liquid diets, the cabbage soup diet, and the Beverly Hills diet to name just a few.

Because I’ve been in the weight-loss arena for a lot of years, between my decade of obesity and my almost 14 years of weight maintenance, I’ve seen a lot of diets come and go in popularity. One thing has always remained constant in my mind. It has seemed that no matter what type of diet the person I was speaking with tried, it tended to boil down to caloric intake.

Recently, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calories are the final frontier in weight management.

I found this interesting, because it really has been what I privately thought for years. Yes, people lose weight with the South Beach Diet. Yes, they lose weight balancing fat calories. Yes, they lose weight eating a high-carb diet. But the key ingredient seems to be calorie control.

The study found “no differences in weight loss or the reduction of fat between four diets with different proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein,” according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. Instead it was “diet adherence” that made the difference in whether the participants were successful with losing weight.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to eat in a way that is sustainable for you, helps you feel good physically, and allows you to lose weight at a reasonable pace. Within those three areas, I think that the sustainability factor is of great importance. Can you sustain the method by which you are losing weight once you reach your goal weight?

If you are eating low-carb, can you transition to maintenance and keep up that lifestyle? If you are following a very low-fat diet like the Ornish Diet, can you keep your fat calories that low for the long-term? Asking yourself these questions is part of learning what weight loss method will work for you.

I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve met who did cut their calories to a weight loss level, but were absolutely unable to sustain their plan long enough to get to their initial goal weight, much less move into weight maintenance. Believe me – it’s a big number.

As you work on losing weight or maintaining your weight, remember that at the end of the day, it’s about calories, sustainability, and being able to stay at a healthy weight once you get there.

Does seeing this study that says the source of the calories doesn’t matter surprise you? What do you think? Diane



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