Conventional wisdom holds that physical maintenance where diet is concerned goes like this: Greens, reds, nothing processed, moderation. On paper its kind of obvious. In practice, its not actually practical a lot of the time. Foods a business just like anything else, and consistently eating the ideal human diet is increasingly expensive. The price on organic fruit and vegetables alone might go some way to explaining that. Somewhere along the way, the health-crazed status quo has decided that fruits and vegetables are the key to weight loss, and are integral ingredients in the pursuit of slimline excellence.
Its hard to blame this kind of anecdotal thinking, especially in the age of the uninformed internet. All this stuff grows from the earth naturally, and nothing has to die for it to get from woodlands to table. It must be the way. And thing-and-things a superfood! Just make smoothies composed entirely of blueberries and chia seeds and stir with a negative calorie celery stick and youll soon be Christian Bale in The Machinist. Right?
Except thats not really how it is at all, says science. Researchers from the University of Alabama looked at a tonne of research on weight loss and increased fruit and vegetable intake — which included data on over 1,200 people — and found that yeah, put down that turnip. Its not helping you become Brad Pitt circa Fight Club.
Across the board, all studies we reviewed showed a near-zero effect on weight loss," study author Kathryn Kaiser confirmed.
Heres how gaining and losing weight works: Youre more machine than man and your fuel is kilojoules. Vegetables, meat, sugary snack treats, it is all varying levels of fuel to your bod, and what you put in is what your human vehicle expects to burn as energy. Theres always an amount of kilojoules in everything going up over the lips and past the gums, and fruits and vegetables are not exempt from this food-amental fact. Theyve got macronutrients and fiber and crap in Éem, though, and thats good.
Fruits and vegetables have many benefits, and we encourage people to include them in their diets, study author David Allison added. Eat all the vegetables and fruit you want, but you have to cut out more calories from other foods to lose weight.
There is a but, and that but is: The multitude of studies under review did not show that consuming excess fruit and vegetables caused weight gain. Usually, if you feed your machine more kilojoule fuel than it needs, itll invariably leak into your gut and manboobs. Not so here. The argument for the Équality of certain calories thus continues.
"It appears that an increase in servings does not increase weight, which is a good thing for getting more vitamins and fiber in one’s diet," Kaiser added.
So stop killing yourself with extra fruits and vegetables in a bid to lose weight, because it doesnt work and you dont make friends with salad, you dont make friends with sal-ad. Want to shed chub like a gross overcoat? Reduce portion sizes and work the heavy bag.