"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How your weight loss plan is linked to weight gain in midlife

September 28, 2023 – The message about midlife weight gain might be familiar: avoid excessive sugar, starchy vegetables and refined carbohydrates. At the identical time, eat more fruits, whole grains and fiber-rich green leafy vegetables.

A latest large study confirms these recommendations, however the researchers also calculated how much And The quality of your food can affect weight gain over time.

For example, consuming 100 grams of starch per day from vegetables akin to corn, green peas or potatoes over a period of 4 years resulted in a weight gain of 1.5 kilograms. In contrast, consuming 10 grams of fiber per day resulted in a weight gain of 700 grams. (For comparison, a medium potato weighs about 170 grams, a cup of green peas weighs 150 grams, and an ear of corn weighs about 100 grams.)

The researchers found that obese women gained more weight in comparison with men.

Not all vegetables are the identical

The results are generally consistent with previous research, said study creator Yi Wan, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow on the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston. But unlike many previous studies, Wan and colleagues distinguish between unfavorable, starchy vegetables and favorable, non-starchy ones. It also hasn't been widely reported that a bigger effect is present in people who find themselves obese, he said.

The study was published online within the magazine on Wednesday BMJ.

Researchers also checked out added sugar, including sugary drinks. Adding 100 grams of sugar per day (about 24 teaspoons, or about three 12-ounce cans of soda per day) resulted in almost 2 kilos more weight gain over a four-year period.

“The quality and source of carbohydrates is critical for long-term weight control, especially for people who are already overweight,” Wan said. “Transitioning from low-carbohydrate food sources to high-quality sources may aid body weight control efforts.”

In particular, moving away from added sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains and starchy vegetables and adding whole grains, fruits and non-starchy vegetables could be helpful, he said.

The advantages could transcend reduced weight gain in midlife, Wan said: “Other studies have shown that this change would also reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”

Wan and his colleagues followed 136,432 men and ladies who were healthy and younger than 65 years old after they took part in one among three long-term studies in 1986 or 1991. The researchers checked their health, weight loss plan and well-being every two to 4 years for twenty-four years.

General weight gain was common. On average, people gained 3.3 kilos every 4 years or 19.4 kilos over 24 years.

The advice will not be directed against potatoes

“People can take away from this study that a diet rich in non-starchy vegetables and whole grains can lead to a healthier weight,” said registered dietitian Kristen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who was not involved within the study. “This study supports my current practice with clients trying to maintain a healthier weight.”

The researchers don't recommend people avoid all peas, corn and potatoes, said registered dietitian Jessica Alvarez, PhD, “but rather make sure to include other vegetables.”

This research reinforces the messages that health experts are telling us, said Alvarez, a spokesman for the Obesity Society, “and they show it in a very large, well-designed study.”

Some statements about weight loss plan and weight management could also be oversimplified or misleading, she said. But this study reinforces the “tried and tested” advice to eat whole grains and leafy greens. “I feel like that needs to be reinforced more often than it is.”

Smith offered a number of caveats. The research focused on stopping weight gain, not weight reduction. Additionally, the study was observational, meaning the associations between food quantity and quality and weight gain weren’t cause-and-effect relationships. Wan and colleagues also noted that participants self-reported their diets, which is one other potential limitation.

Alvarez said research like this might help individuals who want to realize less weight in midlife adjust their diets. For example, someone has already reduced the surplus sugar of their weight loss plan but continues to eat numerous starchy vegetables. This gives them the chance to “see what you eat more or less of and try to optimize it.”