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Obesity: Low energy diet with normal satiety promotes weight loss


Eat fewer calories through sufficient satiety

Scientific studies have shown that subjects who followed a diet with special foods have a lower energy density than others. This makes them more saturated and more inclined to eat less than those who tried a diet with less food. According to the study results, participants who followed this "low energy" diet were able to reduce their calorie consumption by an average of 1,000 calories per day. The first successes could already be seen after a few weeks.

The motto of the low energy diet is full despite diet. It mainly consists of foods with low energy density, which contain a lot of water, proteins and fiber. This leads to larger portions compared to foods with a high energy density. So there are no hunger attacks. The study was led by the University of Leeds and recently published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Comparisons with other diets

In the study, the scientists compared the low energy diet concept with the “Eat Well” diet proposed by the English health authority (NHS). According to the results, the subjects on both diets lost weight. However, it was found that the women from the "low energy" group lost clinically significant amounts of more than five percent of their body weight on average.

More control over eating habits

"Low-energy foods have helped people gain more control over their eating habits," reports Dr. Nicola Buckland in a press release from the University of Leeds on the study results. On average, this made the process of losing weight more effective.

Lose weight without starving yourself

"Many people choose to avoid dieting because they feel hungry between meals," reports Buckland, who is also the lead author of the study. Her team has now shown that eating foods with low energy density can help overcome this problem.

Mass with class

The concept behind the diet is that people can eat a lot more of foods with low energy density and feel full much faster. "For example, someone would have to eat about 250 grams of carrots to consume 100 calories," explains the expert. 20 grams of chocolate have a similar number of calories. However, 250 grams of carrots saturate a lot more than 20 grams of chocolate.

Tests at the buffet

The study also included test meals, in which the subjects were served either large portions with low-energy foods or smaller portions with high-energy foods for breakfast and lunch on different days. However, the number of calories was always the same. In the evening they were able to put together a meal from the given food. On the days with the smaller portions of high-energy dishes, the test subjects reported a greater feeling of hunger and then reached a stronger level in the evening. This led to an average of 1,000 calories higher energy intake.

Reduce hunger with sufficient portions

"This study provided the first evidence that low-energy meals can reduce hunger during a diet," said Buckland. However, there is still a small catch: The study was funded by "Slimming World", which offer weight loss courses everywhere in England. During the study, the women in the Low Energy group attended a weekly session of the program, while the control group was on their own.

The rake with the study

"There is no doubt that other parts of the Slimming World program, such as group support, have helped women lose weight," Buckland sums up. However, she believes that the consumption of low-energy food has played a crucial role.

Examples of a low-energy diet

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) also recommends low-energy foods. In a flyer on the subject, the DGE gives the following examples of this diet:

  • Appetizers: The stomach can be filled with appetizers rich in water. For example, a green salad or a clear soup are suitable.
  • breakfast: The basis of the first meal should consist of lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain cereals.
  • Save fat: Use less mayonnaise, cream, butter and margarine when preparing all meals.
  • Use reduced-fat variants: Buy reduced-fat dairy products, lean meat and low-fat sausages.
  • Proper preparation: Replace deep-frying or frying in oil with steaming, grilling or baking.
  • Reduce sugar: Sugar-rich foods such as sweets, cakes and sweet pastries, as well as heavily sweetened drinks should be an exception.

(vb)

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