A new study from Tufts University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that the types of protein and carbohydrates you eat may have a bigger effect on your weight than overall calories. In fact, eating high-fat dairy, cheese and eggs in conjunction with vegetables may help with weight loss.
Researchers came to this conclusion after examining 120,000 men and women in three long-term studies over 16 years. An increased dietary intake of red meat and processed meat in combination with high carbohydrate consumption was linked to weight gain, while a higher consumption of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken and nuts was linked to weight loss—and the more of these foods that they ate, the more weight they lost.
The study also showed that people who ate low-fat dairy products ate more carbs to make up for the lower calories in those low-fat foods, while eating full-fat cheese and whole milk didn’t affect weight gain or weight loss.
So, as it turns out, this study supports the premise that counting calories may not be the best way to manage your weight. This is great news if you’re on Atkins, because, as you know, calorie-counting isn't always a necessary component of Atkins unless you hit a plateau—instead, as this study suggests, focusing on protein-rich foods like fish, poultry, nuts and yogurt, as well as eggs and cheese, in combination with high-quality carbs in the form of plenty of fresh vegetables, while avoiding refined grains, starches and sugar, may be the ticket to weight loss and lasting weight management.
Now that is a lifestyle target anyone can follow whether you are dieting or not.