Cutting Calories Not Just for the Obese

Everyone knows that cutting calories is the key to losing weight for those who are obese, but what about those who are average weight or slightly overweight?

JAMA recently published a study on how healthy weight people respond to cutting calories. Some researchers thought restricting calories in normal weight people may have a negative effect on their quality of life. The study followed 220 men and women who had a BMI between 22 and 28, considered normal. Most of the group was asked to cut their calorie intake by 25%, while the rest could eat whatever they wanted. On average, people cut intake by about 12%. Calories were reduced, but diets were rich in nutrients. Researchers provided vitamins and food for the first 27 days, as well as a manual.

Over the two year study, researchers found that the average weight people lost about 10% of their body weight, an average of about 17 pounds. The small control group lost less than a pound. The restricted group reported better sleep, better mood, more sexual drive, and better general health.

Another study in the same issue of JAMA divided a group of young adults in the normal to overweight range. Over three years, those who had goals of losing up to nine pounds gained the least weight. The group who was to decrease their calorie intake by 100 calories each day and burn off 100 calories per day also had less weight gain than the control group.

The results of these studies were not surprising, since those who are motivated and focus on healthy eating and exercise tend to lose or maintain weight.
Doyle, Kathryn. “Calorie restriction may have some benefit for non-obese.” Life. Reuters, 3 May 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.

One response

Excellent points here. A healthy diet is something you should be working on regardless of how much you weigh! Even if you aren’t obese does not mean that you can eat what you want.

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