The approach to dieting is changing radically, and considering that it makes dropping pounds much more manageable and long-lasting than previous sweat-and-starve methods, that’s exciting news. “The way we’ve been told to lose weight has set us up for failure,” says David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Harvard and the author of Always Hungry? “If it hasn’t worked for you, know that you’re not the only one struggling.” In fact, the more researchers learn about weight loss, the more they realize that certain supposed truths don’t always hold up in real life. (Like these Harmful Diet Lies You Probably Believe.)
So what does deliver? You’ll be happy to hear that easy habit changes are the ones that have profound, long-term effects. These are the smart, new strategies that actually pay off.
Delete the calorie-counting apps
Your body reacts to calories differently depending on the foods they’re from. So instead of obsessively calculating and cutting calories, focus on eating the right foods, Dr. Ludwig says. Consuming processed carbs makes your insulin level spike, which causes your fat cells to store excess calories. Protein, on the other hand, triggers a hormone that pulls calories out of storage,” he says. Even worse, carb heavy diets slow your metabolism. When Dr. Ludwig looked at the number of calories that people burned at rest on various diets, he found that those who cut carbs burned 325 additional calories a day compared with those who cut fat—without additional exercise. Get plenty of protein and swap processed carbs for foods high in healthy fat and for natural carbs like fruits, veggies, and beans and the pounds will drop off easily, no fancy math required.
Excerpted from shape.com