It has long been said that fad diets don't work, and furtherresearch has supported these claims by showing that making consistent changesto eating habits will lead to the most sustainable weight loss over time.
A study published in the American Journal of ClinicalNutrition followed the dietary habits of 120,000 people for 16 years. It foundthat those who routinely ate a lot of foods with a high glycemic load gainedmore weight than those who ate more foods with a low glycemic load.
High GI foods can lead to weight gain
High GI foods include sugar, refined carbohydrates andgrains, while nuts, dairy, and some fruits and vegetables are considered low GIfoods.
While the findings were nothing new, one interesting thingthey did discover was how the foods you pair together can affect weight gain orweight loss.
For example, while eating foods like eggs and cheese withlow GI foods such as vegetables can lead to weight loss, adding high GI foodscan cause weight gain.
People who ate more low GI foods such as nuts, dairy and fruit and vegetables lost more weight
So an omelette with cheese, spinach and fresh peppers couldaid weight loss, but add toast into the mix and you could be more likely togain weight.
Researchers also found that those who ate more yoghurt,seafood, skinless chicken and nuts lost the most weight, and the more they ateof these foods, the less weight they gained.
However they found no difference in weight gain betweenthose who ate full fat vs low fat dairy products.
Diets with more red and processed meats were linked with weight gain
They made an interesting observation about meat-eaters too; dietswith more red and processed meats were linked with weight gain, particularlywhen paired with starchy foods or refined grains – for example steak and chips.
But when the meat is paired with low GI foods like vegetables,weight gain was reduced.
The researchers found that in general the best diets forweight loss were those high in protein-rich foods, while avoiding refinedgrains and sugars also helped, as did cutting red meat consumption andsubstituting with lean proteins such as skinless chicken and eggs.
So when planning your meals aim to fill your plate with leanproteins and low-GI vegetables first, aiming to minimise grains and starches tolose or maintain your weight over time.