In this article of our series, we continue our attempt to clarify what can lead to a successful diet.
Here, as in the previous two articles in this series, I will look at some scientific research. As usual, I promise that not only will I be as brief as I can be, but what you read will help you lose the extra pounds and have a long-term weight maintenance.
We start from this secondary analysis 2 datasets containing 33681 meals.
One of the many findings of the study was that the volume of a meal is the dominant signal with low-energy foods (i.e. they don't offer many calories), while calorie content is the dominant signal with energy-rich foods.
To make it clearer:
People have a kind of mechanism that can help them (sub)regulate the amount of energy and volume of what they eat, depending on the meal.
When the meal does not provide many calories, they can fill up on the volume provided by the food, whereas if the meal is high in calories, these will influence how much we end up eating.
It should be said that in reality, things are more complicated as many of us have eaten after we are full, we have eaten for social purposes, we have eaten with desserts, we have eaten for psychological reasons, or because it goes with the movie we are watching, after all.
Go ahead in the next study, where higher energy-dense meals (i.e. those that provided a lot of calories), consisting of superfood, processed foods, eaten more quickly, resulted in higher energy intake.
We have also dealt with over-processed, palatable foods in Past.
But when we talk about processed, over-processed and over-processed foods, we usually mean lower protein intake, which was not the case in this study. Although protein is usually refers positively in the context of weight management, here it had negative results.
The primary results of the initial studies found that the unprocessed diet resulted in ~500 kcal/day less average daily intake compared to the over-processed diet and the low-fat diet resulted in ~700 kcal/day less average daily intake than the low-carbohydrate diet.
Overall, higher energy-dense meals, consisting of more hyperglycemic foods with higher protein content that were consumed more quickly, resulted in higher energy intake in a meal occasion.
The next two studies looked at data from the 3-year multicentre PREVIEW type 2 diabetes prevention trial.
At this secondary analysis of the PREVIEW test, higher intakes of processed meat, rather than total meat consumption or unprocessed red meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs, were found to be associated with greater weight gain after a period of rapid weight loss.
Finally, this secondary analysis of the PREVIEW intervention found that following a diet based entirely on plant-based products can improve weight management.
In particular, the consumption of nuts, fruits and vegetables was found to be protective in cardiometabolic risk factors and weight gain.
Well, let's put it all together:
- But as we have stressed before, the first and foremost reason for a successful diet is adherence to the diet itself.
- In a successful, long-term diet and nutrition, we should avoid processed and over-processed, over-processed, over-processed foods.
- Protein is not a panacea and is not particularly effective in avoiding overeating when it comes to processed, over-processed and over-processed foods.
- The pace at which we eat is very important. The faster we eat, the more calories we consume.
- When dieting, the volume of a meal will help with satiety. A diet high in fibre and low in processed foods can help us in this area.
- However, don't forget that if we find ourselves suppressing ourselves by avoiding these foods, it can bring on outbursts. So an exception or a misstep, once in a while, will not bring disaster if we feel we need it.
- Flynn AN, Hall KD, Courville AB, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM. time to revisit the passive overconsumption hypothesis? Humans show sensitivity to calories in energy-rich meals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Apr 30:nqac112. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqac112. epub ahead of print. PMID: 35488870.
- A data-driven approach to quantifying meal characteristics influencing energy intake. Tera L. Fazzino, Amber B. Courville, Juen Guo, Kevin D. Hall bioRxiv 2022.05.08.491083; doi: 10.1101/2022.05.08.491083
- Zhu R, Fogelholm M, Jalo E, Poppitt SD, Silvestre MP, Møller G, Huttunen-Lenz M, Stratton G, Sundvall J, Macdonald IA, Handjieva-Darlenska T, Handjiev S, Navas-Carretero S, Martinez JA, Muirhead R, Brand-Miller J, Raben A. Animal-based food choice and associations with long-term weight maintenance and metabolic health after a large and rapid weight loss: the PREVIEW study. Clin Nutr. 2022 Apr;41(4):817-828. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.02.002. epub 2022 Feb 8. PMID: 35263691.