There are a variety of factors that impact your success losing weight. The results of a recent long term study shed light on the impact your food choices and lifestyle choices have on weight gain.
This study included 120,877 women and men participants who were followed for 12 to 20 years. Relationships between diet, lifestyle, and weight changes were examined.
Average weight gain was 3.35 pounds every 4 years. If you are average than means you’ll weigh ~17 pounds more at the age of 50 than you did at 30. . .if you make certain diet and lifestyle choices.
The study found specific diet and lifestyle factors to contribute to weight gain.
The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle
An average weight gain of 3.35 pounds every four years was attributed to an increase in dietary intake, specifically an increased intake of potato chips (+1.69 pounds every four years), potatoes (+1.28 pounds every four years), sugar sweetened beverages (+1 pound every four years), unprocessed red meats (+0.95 pound every four years), and processed meats (+0.93 pounds every four years).
Certain dietary choices were also linked to a lower weight over the four year period, such as vegetables (-0.22 pounds over four years), whole grains (-0.37 pounds over four years), fruits (-0.49 pounds over four years), nuts (-0.57 pounds over four years), and yogurt (-0.82 pounds over four years).
Lifestyle factors than had an impact on weight change include physical activity (-1.76 pounds), alcohol (+0.41 pounds), smoking (recently quit +5.71 pounds, former smokers, +0.14 pounds), sleep (higher weight for those <6 hours or >8 hours of sleep daily), and tv viewing (+0.31 pounds per hour/day).
The Take Away
I want you to take away two things from the results of this study.
- The quality of food you eat may have just as great an impact on your weight as the quantity of food you eat.
- On average an adult gains ~1 pound per year. You don’t have to be average. By making diet and lifestyle changes you can prevent the gradual weight and reduce your risk for heart disease.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD