Compare with other diets
In the study, the scientists compared the low energy nutritional concept with the “Eat Well” diet proposed by the UK Health Authority (NHS). According to the results, the subjects of both diets lost weight. However, it was found that the women in the “low energy” group lost on average clinically significant amounts of more than five percent of their body weight.
More control over eating habits
“Low-energy foods have helped people gain more control over their dietary habits,” says Dr. Nicola Buckland in a press release from the University of Leeds on the study results. This has made the process of losing weight more effective on average.
Losing weight without starving
“Many people abstain from dieting because they feel hungry between meals,” says Buckland, who is also lead author of the study. Her team has now shown that eating low-energy foods can help overcome this problem.
Mass with class
The idea behind the diet is that people can eat a lot more of the low-energy foods and feel full faster. “For example, someone would need to eat about 250 grams of carrots to consume 100 calories,” explains the expert. A similar calorie count also has 20 grams of chocolate. However, 250 grams of carrots saturate significantly more than 20 grams of chocolate.
Tests at the buffet
The study also included trial meals where the subjects were served either large portions of low-energy foods or smaller portions of high-energy foods for breakfast and lunch on different days. The calorie count was always the same. In the evening, they could then assemble a meal from the given food. On the days with the smaller portions of energy-rich foods, the subjects reported a stronger feeling of hunger and then reached even stronger in the evening. This resulted in an average of 1,000 calories higher energy intake.
Reduce hunger through adequate portions
“This study has provided the first evidence that low-energy meals can reduce hunger during a diet,” says Buckland. However, there is still a small catch on the matter: The study was funded by “slimming world”, which offers everywhere in England weight loss. During the study, the women of the Low Energy group participated in a weekly session of the program while the control group was on its own.
The rake on the study
“Undoubtedly, other parts of the Slimming World program, such as group support, have helped women lose weight,” Buckland sums up. She believes, however, that the consumption of low-energy food has played the crucial role.
Examples of a low-energy diet
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) also advises low-energy foods. In a flyer on the subject, the DGE gives the following examples of this diet:
Appetizers: watery appetizers fill your stomach. For example, a green salad or a clear soup are suitable.
Breakfast: The base of the first meal should consist of lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain cereals.
Save fat: Use less mayonnaise, cream, butter and margarine when preparing all meals.
Use fat-reduced options: buy fat-reduced dairy products, lean meats and low-fat sausages.
Proper preparation: Fry or fry in oil by steaming, grilling or baking.
Reduce sugar: Sugary foods such as sweets, cakes and sweet pastries, as well as high-sugar drinks should be the exception.