A new study has revealed that people who want to lose weight and keep it off need to pay attention to their behavior and their body’s biomarkers.
The research was conducted by scientists at Stanford Medicine.
They analyzed data from a year-long weight-loss study and found that following a healthy low-carb or healthy low-fat diet was essential for short-term weight loss during the first six months.
However, maintaining long-term weight loss for a year required something more, and that was where the biomarkers came into play.
The researchers discovered that the bacteria in your gut and the amounts of certain proteins your body makes can affect your ability to sustain weight loss.
Additionally, some people shed more pounds on low-fat diets while others did better on low-carb diets.
The team identified several biomarkers that predict how successful an individual will be at losing weight and keeping it off long-term.
These biomarkers include signatures from the gut microbiome, proteins made by the human body, and levels of exhaled carbon dioxide.
The researchers tracked the participants’ exercise, how well they followed their diet, and the number of calories consumed.
The study showed that just cutting calories or exercising was not enough to sustain weight loss over a year. The team focused on biomarkers of metabolism to try to understand why.
They found specific microbiome ecologies and amounts of proteins and enzymes at the beginning of the study period that indicated whether participants would be successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
Throughout the study, the researchers measured the respiratory quotient, which serves as a proxy for whether carbohydrates or fats are the body’s primary fuel.
A lower ratio means the body burns more fat, while a higher ratio means it burns more carbohydrates. So, those who started the diet with a higher respiratory quotient lost more weight on a low-carb diet.
In other words, if your body prefers carbs and you’re predominately eating fat, it will be much harder to metabolize and burn off those calories.
The researchers identified specific nutrients that were correlated with weight loss during the first six months.
Low-carb diets should be based on monounsaturated fats, such as those that come from avocados, and high in vitamins K, C, and E.
Low-fat diets should be high in fiber, such as that found in whole grains and beans, and avoid added sugars.
The findings show that the focus should be on eating high-quality foods that are unprocessed and low in refined flour and sugar.
Instead of thinking about what to exclude from your diet, focus on what you can include, like foods high in fiber, vitamins, and monounsaturated fats.
If you pay attention to the quality of food in your diet, then you can forget about counting calories.
There are many ways to lose weight, but here are some general tips that may help:
Eat a balanced diet: Focus on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods and limit your intake of sugar and saturated fats.
Stay hydrated: Drinking water can help you feel full and reduce your overall calorie intake. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Exercise regularly: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. This can include walking, jogging, biking, swimming, or any other form of exercise you enjoy.
Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, leading to overeating. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can lead to overeating and weight gain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist.
Remember, losing weight is a gradual process that requires consistency and patience. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any weight loss program to ensure it’s safe and effective for you.
If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight.
For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.
The study was conducted by Xiao Li et al and published in Cell Reports Medicine.
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