For people who want to lose weight, reducing calories in their diet is a major method.
This can be done by eating less food, use meal replacements and take dietary supplements.
However, these methods are not natural enough. People may feel hungry easily and hard to continue.
Now scientists from University of Leeds in the UK provide good news.
Low energy density diets that are rich in food low in energy can make people feel more full and eat fewer calories.
Low energy diet includes foods contain more water, protein and fiber. This can result in bigger portion sizes when compared to foods with high energy density.
In one previous study, we mentioned that dietary fiber is good our gut and can help control type 2 diabetes. Dietary fiber also makes people feel full and thus they will consume less calories.
That is why eating whole fruits is better than drinking fruit juice.
In the study, the research team examined how low energy foods and high energy foods influence people’s desire to eat.
They also compared the weight loss effect from the low energy diet to weight loss from calorie-restriction diet. In the latter, the daily calorie is usually less than 1400 calories.
The who study lasted four days. In the first two days, overweight and obese participants ate a diet rich in low energy foods. In the second 2 days, they ate a diet full of high energy foods.
In both type of diets, the breakfast can lunch offered same number of calories. But the low energy foods were in larger portion sizes.
In the evening, participants could eat foods and snacks as much as they wanted. They recorded their feelings of hunger, fullness and desire to eat.
The result showed that 3 hours after a low energy breakfast (larger portion with same calories with high energy breakfast), participants’ feeling of hunger was 50% of people who ate a high energy breakfast.
On the other hand, their fullness was almost 200% of that in people ate a high energy breakfast.
The similar result was found after lunch hours.
Another interesting finding is that when participants were on a high energy diet, they consumed 1057 more calories than when they were on a low energy diet.
So, does a low energy diet help people lose weight?
The researchers checked the data from the Slimming World program which lasted 14 weeks. People in the program ate low energy density foods
In another program NHS Live Well program, people were on a calorie-restriction diet.
They found that low energy foods help people lose more body weight: people from the Slimming World program on average lost 5.8 kg of weight, while people from the NHS Live Well program lost about 3.3 kg of weight.
The researchers said “A lot of people give up on diets because they feel hungry between meals. Our research shows that eating low energy density foods can help overcome that problem.
“Gram for gram, low energy dense foods contain fewer calories than high energy density foods, so people are able to eat a larger volume of food for the same (or lower) calorie intake, leading them to feel much fuller.”
Therefore, next time you want to choose a diet for weight loss, use a low energy diet. They can help you restrict calorie intake and feel better to stay on track.
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