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April 27, 2015
Foods For Lasting Weight Loss

Foods For Lasting Weight Loss

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

It’s finally spring in New England. Time to shed the layers of clothing you’ve been wearing for months, and possibly, some extra pounds gained during one of the longest, harshest winters in memory.

As much as you may want drop the extra weight fast, don’t make drastic changes.  Recent research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that making small changes in what you eat is key to weight control, and not just because of calories. 

Protein Matters for Weight Control

The study, which looked at the eating habits of more than 120,000 U.S. male and female health professionals over the course of 16 years, found that certain foods, particularly those rich in protein, influenced body weight. Here are some of the findings:

• Yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts were linked to weight loss in the study, and the more of these foods people ate as part of a balanced diet, the more pounds they shed.  

• Intake of red meat and processed meat, such as steak, sausages, and deli meat, was linked to weight gain through the years.  

• Consuming full-fat milk and cheese had no effect on weight gain or weight loss. Eating low-fat dairy foods, which are recommended by health experts because they provide more calcium and vitamin D for the calories, often meant people also consumed more carbohydrate overall.  

Food Combinations Affect Your Weight

Does this mean you have to give up your beloved burgers for chicken and fish in the name of weight loss? Not exactly.

Researchers also looked at the influence of protein-packed foods in combination with other foods. 

For example, when people ate red meat with vegetables instead of refined grains, such as a white hamburger bun, more often they gained less weight with time. For the foods identified in the study as linked to weight loss, such as chicken and fish, pairing them with fewer refined grains, like white bread, white rice, and white pasta, further enhanced their weight loss effect. 

Easy Tips to Shed Weight and Keep it Off 

Overall, the study suggests some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse, and that food combos make a difference in weight control. 

Instead of counting every calorie, live by these simple rules at mealtimes:

• Emphasize protein-rich foods, such as seafood, chicken, Hood Cottage Cheese, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.

• Include a serving of Hood Milk or yogurt with every meal.  

• Avoid refined grains, such as highly processed breakfast cereal, white bread, and pasta, and limit foods with added sugars.  


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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