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About 30 percent of American adults are obese.
While being overweight means carrying more pounds than average, which could come from muscle, bone, fat or water, being obese refers to an excess amount of body fat.
Researchers predict that in 25 years, more cancers will be related to obesity than to smoking.
And, carrying too much weight is just downright uncomfortable. It can keep you away from physical activities you enjoy, activities that may actually help control your weight.
If you’re one of those people locked in a constant struggle with weight, you know that what to eat is the daily question, and often a confusing one. There is so much diet advice out there!
You’ll be happy to know that, based on research, a group of scientists in New Zealand is backing one particular diet as the best candidate for sustained weight loss.
Mediterranean diet is the clear winner
Nine researchers from the University of Otago’s Department of Medicine have found that the Mediterranean diet is your best bet if you want to lose weight — and keep it off.
Of the 250 participants, 54 percent chose intermittent fasting, 27 percent chose the Mediterranean diet and 18 percent went with the Paleo diet.
- Participants who fasted lost an average of just over eight and a half pounds.
- Participants who followed the Mediterranean diet lost a little more than six and a half pounds on average.
- The median amount of weight loss for participants who stuck to the Paleo diet was just under four pounds.
So, it would appear that fasting came out the winner here.
But just a moment…
For one thing, both those who fasted and those who ate a Mediterranean diet not only lost weight but their blood pressure and blood sugar dropped considerably as well.
And, as co-lead author Michelle Jospe put it, “The results showed people found the Mediterranean diet to be the easiest to adhere to.”
Of the people who had been fasting, 54 percent continued after the year was up, and only 35 percent stayed on the Paleo diet.
But 57 percent of people remained on the Mediterranean diet after the study was over.
A guide to losing weight and keeping it off
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that the hard part isn’t losing it, but keeping it off.
To do that, you need a sustainable eating style rather than a diet that feels like a lifetime sentence.
Turns out, the Mediterranean diet is perfect for this.
If you’re one of the few who isn’t totally familiar with how to “eat Mediterranean,” here’s a primer for you:
- Eat these every day: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat these in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
- Eat only rarely: Red meat.
- NEVER eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat (cold cuts or hot dogs), refined grains, refined oils (soybean, canola) and other highly processed foods.
- Drink water, or coffee or tea. A glass of red wine a day is part of the diet, too, but that’s really your choice.
- Snack on nuts, fruit (berries, grapes), carrots, Greek yogurt, apple slices with almond butter.
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- Study reveals the best diet for actually losing weight and keeping it off — Ladders | Business News & Career Advice
- Intermittent fasting, Paleolithic, or Mediterranean diets in the real world: exploratory secondary analyses of a weight-loss trial that included choice of diet and exercise — The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide — Healthline