Eat Less and Weigh the Same

Friday 16th April 2010

Eating less may have no effect on weight loss, researchers warn. Scientists claim that new research findings indicate that cutting out calories and reducing portion sizes alone may not be enough when battling the bulge. Research published in the April edition of the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, showed that the body reduces activity when calories are cut causing weight to remain fixed. The news is expected to affect the habits of slimmers across the world and sway the opinions of medical professionals who have commonly advised that people reduce their intake in order to lose weight.

Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University reached their conclusions by studying the weight loss of macaque monkeys who were given low calorie diets. Researchers found that the monkeys, who had spent years on a high fat diet, experienced very little weight loss despite the drastic cut in calorific consumption. Whereas monkeys who ate more calories and exercised lost significantly more weight than their dieting counterparts. Researchers were able to discover that the dieting monkeys’ activity levels were greatly reduced by using a tracking device on their collars to accurately measure their daily energy expenditure. The slump in the dieting monkeys’ activity has led researchers to believe that the body automatically reduces activity levels to conserve calories and compensate for a reduction in intake.

Dr Cameron, who led the research, explains that humans and animals have developed similar fat storing body habits, leading scientists to believe that eating less will have the same results to human weight loss. Dr Cameron says “Food is not always plentiful for humans and animals and the body seems to have developed a strategy for responding to these fluctuations”. It is hoped that the research will provide greater insight into how to lose weight successfully, thereby helping medical experts and slimmers alike to counter the growing levels of global obesity.

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