Is 'eating clean', or eating 'paleo' or being 'low carb' enough to lose weight...

Is 'eating clean', or eating 'paleo' or being 'low carb' enough to lose weight... 

Or should we count calories to lose weight? 

I ask as recently there’s been a big hoo-ha about caloric restriction and the fact that it doesn’t work.

Caloric restriction doesn’t work, they say, you need to learn to listen to your body’s cues.

Except, that doesn’t really work. Let's look at some recent research... 

Angolan J. C, et al. “Diet quality of adults using intuitive eating for weight loss - pilot study.” Nutr Health. 2013

This pilot study took two groups of 8 obese people and put them on a diet. One was given a caloric goal to aim for, the other was given instructions of how to eat intuitively using portion control and food choice. This study lasted 6 weeks.

At the midpoint of the study, the intuitive group was slightly ahead.

By the end of the study, the calorie restricted group had lost on average 5.3lbs and the intuitive eating group 3.4 – this was a statistically significant difference.

The most striking thing is that the intuitive eating group lost almost all of this from weeks 1-3, then lost almost nothing for the three weeks after, the researchers noted:

“At the midpoint of the study (end of the first three weeks of the study) the participants in both groups either lost or maintained their weight. At the endpoint of the study (at six weeks), some of the intuitive eating group participants regained weight after week 3, unlike the calorie restricted group participants who achieved steady weight loss throughout the study.”

What this tells us is that Intuitive eating, more or less, doesn’t work, or is at least flawed in it's basic framework and needs more than just 'eat good food' to really work.

If you are going to eat intuitively, you still need some form of portion control, otherwise you dont know what you are eating day to day, you are all too likely to go extreme with 'the diet' and then slack off as soon as some weight loss is seen 

Sometimes, for some, eating good food is enough, it works, but sometimes it doesn't. 

When it doesn't work, look to count or track your food, why guess with weight loss? 

Guarantee success, know what you are putting in your mouth

Calorie restriction works. Very well. The challenge is helping people to take the first steps.

Ultimately, if you want better results, know the variables. 

Original Post credit: Tom Bainbridge (Body Type Nutrition Academy Researcher & Mentor) 

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