Is Calorie Counting Important?

Although the standard advice for weight loss has always been to cut back on calories, a new study published in JAMA has shown just the opposite. Concentrating on consumingPower calories nutrient dense whole grains, vegetables and fruits without thinking about calories may be a better way. Research showed that insulin resistance, DNA makeup or genetics were not as important as quality not quantity of food consumed. It was an extremely large study of 600 people at the cost of $8 million dollars conducted by The Stanford Prevention Research Center. The study did not set restrictions on carbohydrate, fat or calorie intake. It focused on eating “real foods” and as much as they wanted so they would not feel hungry. Some of the participants did gain weight while others lost as much as 50 lbs. over the course of a year. Average weight loss was 12 lbs. Along with changing the quality of the food they were consuming, some of the subjects said that since they were no longer eating fast food they were no longer eating in cars or in front of the television. DNA samples were taken of all the members and the differences in their genetic makeup showed no difference in the results. It is not that calories do not matter in weight loss, it is that by consuming nutrient dense foods they were able to satisfy their hunger for longer periods of time and in so doing unconsciously consume less calories.