Yahoo News recently reported on a study conducted by Harvard University scientists that analyzed changes in diet and lifestyle habits of 120,877 people. The weight of the participants was measured every four years for up to two decades. And on average, participants gained nearly 17 pounds over the 20-year period.
But the fascinating thing about the study was they were able to link specific foods and activities to a precise amount of weight gain.
And the biggest offender was potato chips!
Each daily serving of potato chips containing 1 ounce (only about 15 chips) led to a 1.69-pound increase over four years. For potatoes other than chips, the gain was 1.28 pounds. Other foods or actions they were able to correlate to weight gain included:
• Soda added a 1 pound increase.
• An alcoholic drink per day: 0.41 pound increase.
• Sweets and desserts: 0.41 pound increase.
• Watching an hour of TV per day: 0.31 pound increase.
• Quitting smoking: 5 pound increase.
One of the leaders of the study, Dr. Frank Hu noted, “There is no magic bullet for weight control. Diet and exercise are important for preventing weight gain, but diet clearly plays a bigger role.”
Of course diet clearly plays the bigger role! Diet is Batman to exercise’s Robin. I’ve seen several people lose weight while only following the diet of the 31 Day Fat Loss Cure and not doing any of the workouts. But I have NEVER seen someone lose weight by only doing the workouts and ignoring the diet.
As interesting as it was to see an exact number of pounds attached to the specific foods, do we really need a scientific study to tell us that eating potato chips will lead to weight gain? If you want a crunchy snack try celery, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, or apples. And leave the math to the scientists.
What food has contributed most to your weight gain in the past? What are you doing to avoid or replace that food now? Let me know in the comments below.
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