Specific foods–along with key daily habits–can help you lose weight and keep pounds off.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at diets and lifestyles of 120,000 health professionals who they have been following for decades. The researchers revealed that the participants gained just under a pound per year or about 17 pounds over 20 years, but weight gain varied greatly among participants.
Looking at the diets of the biggest gainers, there were five foods linked with weight gain, including:
- Potato chips
- Sugary beverages
- Unprocessed red meats
- Processed meats
At the same time, they could identify those who gained the least amount of weight—or even lost weight and found that their diets were richer in the following foods:
- Whole grains
In addition to these foods, sleeping for 6-8 hours most nights protected participants from weight gain, compared to those who slept fewer than six hours. For more about how skimping on zzzs may cause you to gain weight, read this. Participants who got more exercise and watched less TV, and limited alcohol were also less likely to pile on pounds over the years.
What does this mean for you? It’s no surprise that getting adequate sleep and eating a diet rich in produce, whole grains, nuts and yogurt and lower in sugary foods and processed meats makes sense. At the same time, try to get exercise daily as well as a good night’s sleep. It’s also good to limit alcohol because it stimulates your appetite and makes you crave the foods linked to weight gain.
For more about how alcohol is linked to weight gain, read this.