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home : features : health and wellness July 27, 2016

11/4/2012 6:00:00 AM
Less calories versus less fat
Eunice Mesick
Diet Center’s Tip of the Week

What do you think works better: consuming fewer calories or consuming less fat?

Some people make claims, like you can lose weight by eating less fat and eating as much as you want. You might see some weight loss, but the results may be due to a decreased number of calories. After all, fat has 9 calories per gram, versus carbohydrate and protein that have 4 calories per gram. There are risks to consider, though. Cutting calories without paying attention to fat increases the odds of cardiovascular disease.

Research has shown that cutting fat and calories will help you lose more weight. A study of men and women at least 20 percent overweight were assigned to either a "low fat" group or a "low calorie" group. After 16 to 20 weeks, the low calorie group lost an average of (women) 18 pounds and (men) 26 pounds. The low fat group lost an average of (women) 9 pounds and (men) 18 pounds. Some programs are both low fat and low calorie. No wonder so many people have had weight loss success!

You might be thinking, well, I skip meals all the time to save on extra calories and extra fat, but I'm not having much success.

You might find more success by having smaller portion sizes rather than cutting out whole meals. Here are a few reasons why.

About 28 percent of Americans are skipping meals. Are these individuals skipping meals to save calories? Not usually!

Some people assume they can consume more calories at the next meal, or they may be trying to make up for overeating the night before.

If you are trying to control your weight by skipping meals, you may actually be having the opposite effect. In order to keep our metabolisms up and burning calories, we need to give our bodies fuel regularly.

Think of feeding your body as filling your car with gas. When you are hungry, your body is out of fuel like your car is out of gas. When this happens, how does your car function? Not well, if it functions at all.

Your body reacts similarly to a lack of fuel. When you skip a meal when your body needs to be fed, you deprive your body of nutrients that are not made up at the following meal.

This results in your body's metabolism slowing down. A slower metabolism burns fewer calories, which will most likely result in a decrease in weight loss or possibly even a weight gain.

Think of hunger pangs as your body's "fuel light" going on because it needs to be fueled up!

Thank you for reading Diet Center's tip of the week. If you are struggling with weight loss, call me at (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.

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