I was surfing the Web recently and ran across an article about a study that related to post-menopausal women and the difficulty they have with long-term weight loss. As a woman who is nearing that point, and as one who is trying to eat healthy and keep weight off, I was intrigued, so I continued reading.
The study, published in the September issue of Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, looked at 508 overweight, post-menopausal women and the researchers wanted to see if changes in eating behaviors and selected foods were associated with weight loss at six and 48 months. The women were randomly divided into two groups.
One group met regularly with nutritionists, exercise physiologists and psychologists throughout the study with the goal of reducing fats and caloric intake; increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and participating in regular exercise. The other group was offered seminars by health professionals on general women’s health, but not specific weight loss information.
Some of the results of the study are not all that surprising. First, eating habits associated with weight loss at both six months and four years included eating less fried food and dessert, and drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages. But also at four years, the researchers saw that eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat and cheese became important predictors of long-term weight loss.
One of the doctors involved in the study says that relying only on limiting fried foods, desserts and sugar-sweetened drinks may not be sustainable for the long term, but adding fruits and vegetables and limiting meat and cheese isn’t as hard to incorporate into one’s eating habits. Thus, making these small changes may give you better long-term weight-loss results.
As a woman of a certain age, I get that things change as we get older. We tend to be a little less active and with hormonal changes, many of us face the challenges of weight gain and trying to lose it, so if I can make a relatively easy change that could help keep weight off I am willing to try it.
So, more fruits and vegetables with my meals? Yes, please.