You probably can’t even count the number of times you’ve heard the maxim “eat less, exercise more.” But if you’re trying to shed a few pounds or just become healthier overall, it’s not about how much you’re eating so much as being mindful of what you’re putting in your body.
“The uncomfortable fact is that an exceedingly small number of people can lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off following advice to eat less, exercise more.”
“We intuitively know that eat less, exercise more doesn’t work. It’s such simple advice that if it worked, my colleagues and I would be out of job,” David Ludwig, MD, told Time. “The uncomfortable fact is that an exceedingly small number of people can lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off following that advice.”
Dr. Ludwig said instead of focusing on the amount of food, zero in on the type—starting with what to avoid.
One biggie to cut out? Refined carbohydrates—like white bread, sugar, and cookies—which cause a sudden spike your insulin levels, in turn promoting fat storage. This not only causes weight gain but also increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“Some high-fat foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil are among the healthiest foods we could possibly eat.”
Fatty foods, on the other hand, are often just fine: “We have to forget the low-fat paradigm,” Ludwig said. “Some high-fat foods like avocado, nuts, and olive oil are among the healthiest foods we could possibly eat.”
Basically, becoming your healthiest self means making more of an effort to put a variety of foods on your plate that keep you energized, full, and happy. You wouldn’t put crappy fuel in your prized car, right? Or, for that matter, icky blends in your chic diffuser. The same goes for your body—and because of those decisions, you’ll be running smoothly for years to come.