We used to be a nation of Rough Riders, and now we’re sadly turning into a nation of fat sidecar riders. Despite the hundreds of thousands of books out there detailing in full everything a person needs to do in order to live a chin-ups-optional healthy life, people just can’t seem to make those much-needed life-altering decisions. With 2013 coming our way, millions of Americans will begin their years-old new year’s weight loss resolutions anew. But before the second day of January arrives to millions of people lapsing over triple-chocolate cake, keep in mind that being healthy is not an all-or-nothing affair.
A large study for the British Medical Journal proves that taking in less fat, or using healthier alternatives, can help you lose pounds without actually dieting. While this information may seem like a forehead-slapping piece of obviousness, it’s not as if everyone was avoiding it all the time anyway. This is the kind of study that doesn’t makes waves on the water’s surface so much as attempt to change the way in which the water moves in the first place. Weight loss does not have to be a stress-inducing, body-morphing Hellfest. Sometimes it really does just come down to eating a regular apple instead of three caramel apples.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich performed 22 randomized controlled trials on 73,589 men, women, and children. The test subjects were compared in terms of those eating less fat than they did before the test, and those following their same diet. After at least six months, their weight and waistlines were measured, and those with a low-fat diet had reduced body weight, BMI, and waist circumference, The study says the weight loss happened quickly and was maintained for at least seven years. Not bad for a study where weight loss wasn’t even the assumed result.
“The weight reduction that we found when people ate less fat was remarkably consistent – we saw it in almost every trial. Those who cut down more on fat, lost more weight,” said lead author Dr. Lee Hooper, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School. “The effect isn’t dramatic, like going on a diet. The research specifically looked at people who were cutting down on fat, but didn’t aim to lose weight – so they were continuing to consume a normal amount of food.”
The test wasn’t created to specify specific types of fats, but saturated fats have been the target of health nuts for years, so avoiding those would be the best first step. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. I’m just telling you that paying attention to what you eat and maintaining a minimal amount of physical activity in your daily life is a good thing. Then the next time you have to fit into that tux or dress for your friend’s wedding, you won’t have to consider intentional leprosy as a method of quick weight loss.