Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 12.38.54 PMExperts say eating less and exercising more is not the key to long-term weight loss. Instead, those looking to lose weight should simply stop counting calories.

“We intuitively know that eat less exercise more doesn’t work,” says Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “The uncomfortable fact is that an exceedingly small number of people can lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off following that advice.”

Ludwig, along with Dr. Mark L. Friedman of the Nutrition Science Initiative in San Diego, says refined carbohydrates – like sugar and processed grains like white bread – are the culprits behind obesity, not fat.

Carbs spike insulin levels, which trigger fat cells to soak up more calories. But when there aren’t enough calories and nutrients to give us the energy we need, the brain triggers a hunger response to slow our metabolism.

“We have to forget the low-fat paradigm,” Ludwig says. “Some high fat foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil are among the healthiest foods we could possibly eat.”

So don’t count calories, but do focus on the what we eat.

“If you just try to eat less and exercise more, most people will lose that battle. Metabolism wins,” Ludwig says. “Simply looking at calories is misguided at best and potentially harmful because it disregards how those calories are affected our hormones and metabolism – and ultimately our ability to stick to a diet.”

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  • I think everyone needs to read the full article — because this is partially why more people have had success on Low Carbohydrate/ High Fat Diets than so called Low-Fat Diets. Another expert in this field is Dr. Robert Lustig. He describes the process of how sugar affects the liver which is not that much different from Alcohol:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

    Another film people should try to watch is fed-up which shows how pervasive sugar is in our food selection:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCUbvOwwfWM

    • Monique

      I just listened to Dr. Lustig’s lecture – thanks for sharing! Wow … that was really eye opening!

  • Me

    the one thing i do sympathize w/fat folks over is there is a brand new study telling folks how to lose weight damn near every week. i swear if i had a problem keeping weight off, these studies would make me depressed. it’s information overload. one wekk it’s healthy, the next week it’s killing you. you not exercising enough, you’re exercising too much, you’re exercising the wrong way. so many mixed messages. & i feel like all these “professionals” don’t really care about folks getting healthy at all. they’re like journalists… paid by the article.

  • this isn’t an either or..you have to watch the type of calories you consume just as closely as the amount

  • ALM247

    Calorie counting does work. The issue is that calorie counting is stressful, and almost no one can maintain counting each and every calorie the take in for years and years on end.

    The truth is, none of these experts have it figured out.

    Speaking of avocados, I just read an article the other day in which celebrity trainer Tracey Anderson said that even though avocados are touted as health food, the high fat and calorie content of avocados can actually cause a person to gain weight. I don’t have an issue with avocados, though.

    A lot of people are cropping up with food intolerances/allergies due to all of this genetically modified food. I actually read something the other day that said that the fluoride on our water is doing more harm than good. Then you have people with thyroid problems and adrenal gland problems. I know someone who was losing tons of weight without trying. The person was already a healthy size, so we were all becoming concerned. It turns out, she had a growth on her adrenal gland. The adrenal gland can also make you hold onto weight.

    A lot of these plus sized models work out 4 to 5 times a week, and they are size 12, 14, and 16. There is more to all of this, and no one has yet figured out all the pieces of the puzzle.

    I am wondering if commenter “Me” is right….maybe the contradictory messages are purposeful.

  • God is My Mojo

    Calories do matter but sugar grams spike insulin and raised insulin levels make you fat…especially in your midsection. I transformed my thinking about Calories with the Belly Fat Cure and I’ve never looked back. No gimmicks. Got the book from the library. Sugar kills and causes all kinds of diseases and health problems. Unfortunately it’s all the things we like: sugary fruit (bananas, grapes, corn…they have high glycemic (spikes insulin), potatoes, toast, rice, white pasta, chips…even sugar in ketchup, barbecue sauce, happy hour cocktails, marguarita’s…not to mention soda…which is death in a can. Water, Veggies and sweat is your best friend when it come to loving the skin your in.