Dieting alone can have the same effect as moderate physical activity. By eating certain foods, the body will burn a certain amount of calories. It’s why we can lose weight on a diet and not necessarily need to exercise. In a recent study at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center in Boston, researchers looked at three diets: very low carb, very low fat, and the low glycemic index diet. While very low carb diets helped people burn more calories per day, these diets also increase stress hormone production and cause inflammation, putting you at risk for heart disease. Low fat diets had adverse effects on insulin and good cholesterol levels, slowing down metabolism and increasing heart disease risk as well.
The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates by how high they raise blood sugar levels after eating. High GI foods are rapidly digested and absorbed, causing blood sugar levels to spike. Low-GI foods are digested and absorbed slower, produce gradual, healthy rises in blood sugar. Of the three diets the study considered, a low glycemic index diet did not burn as many calories as the others but did yield the best results for slow, healthy weight loss.
When considering your diet plan, make sure that you’re focusing on the quality of foods you’re eating and to balance your diet to include healthy carbs and fats. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from processed foods, limit the use of oils and butter, and choose slow carbs. Before you start your diet, journal for a few weeks to see what you’re used to eating. After review, eliminate the worst offenders from your meal plan.