11th July 2018
New research revealed by Slimming World, shows that following a diet based around lower energy dense foods such as fruit and veg, lean meat and rice allows people to reduce their calorie intake while eating more food – not less.
The findings bust the long-held myth that you have to be hungry and deprived in order to lose weight!
Low Energy Dense Foods
The Solutions for Weight through Psychology, Satiation and Satiety study, led by the University of Leeds and published in the Journal of Nutrition, has found that eating a diet based around low energy dense foods – foods that contain fewer calories per gram – is more effective for weight loss than traditional calorie counting.
Eating lower energy dense foods, which include fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, pasta, rice, pulses, eggs, fat-free dairy and more, enables people to consume a larger volume of food while reducing their overall calorie intake.
The research showed this allowed slimmers to feel more satiated and less hungry, being hungry typically leaves people feeling unable to sustain weight-loss attempts.
Slimmers following a plan based around low energy dense foods for 14 weeks – as well as attending a weekly Slimming World group where they weighed in and received support – also reported increased feelings of control around their food choices and a greater confidence in their ability to stick to their weight-loss plan, as well as losing significantly more weight than calorie-counting counterparts – a ‘clinically significant’ 6.2% body weight compared to 3.8%.
The study compared women following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan, which is based around low energy dense foods, to another group of women following the NHS Choices Live Well programme, centred around calorie counting and a calorie restriction of 1,400 calories a day.
Over the 14 weeks, the Slimming World members’ food intake was significantly lower in energy density than the NHS Choices’ dieters.
The Slimming World group lost more weight (an average of 5.8kg/6.2% body weight compared to 3.3kg/3.8%) and were more likely to report finding the plan easy to stick to than those counting calories.
They also expressed increased feelings of control over their eating and food choices, and greater motivation and confidence in continuing with their weight-loss attempt than their NHS Choices counterparts.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s Head of Nutrition and Research, says: “This study provides clear evidence that calorie counting and eating smaller portions are not the answer when it comes to weight loss. We might think we need to be overly strict with ourselves when we’re losing weight – counting and measuring all our food and reducing portion sizes right down – but this type of restrictive approach ultimately leaves us feeling more hungry and deprived. These are the top reasons many people ‘fall off the wagon’ and this, in turn, leaves us feeling guilty and ashamed often leading to a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.”
She adds; “By filling up on low energy dense foods people can eat a larger amount of food and feel more satisfied while they lose weight so they feel better able to stay on track, and they never have to feel guilty about what they’re eating or how much is on their plate. Slimming World has promoted this approach for decades. Our members can eat freely from a long list of low energy dense foods without restriction, as well as enjoying measured amounts of higher energy dense foods, like chocolate and alcohol, to ensure they never feel deprived. Combined with powerful group support, which allows members to share problems and solutions, this helps people to develop realistic healthy habits that they can keep up for life.”
Slimming World at Iceland
Iceland in Garden Square has an official range of syn-free slimming world meals. As well as these, there are many choices in-store that also suit the Slimming World plan. To find out more, head in-store or visit the website.
To find out about Slimming World groups in Letchworth.