Calorie counting is the new trend among dieters. The Internet is flooded with information on various ways to burn out extra fat from the body. Low-fat, low-carb, paleo and vegan diets are some of them.

After going through all the information, an ordinary person might want to know if it’s so easy to lose weight. Well, many of the research works suggest that it could be easy to lose weight. But many of the dieters find it hard to maintain their newly achieved target.

A quick glimpse at some of the researchers based on calorie counting

In 2005, a group of researchers observed over 300 obese adults belonging to the age group of 40 to 52 for two years. For the study called Dietary Intervention Randomised Controlled Trial (DIRECT), the participants were divided into three groups. Then, they were assigned three different types of calorie-restricted diets.

The first group followed a Mediterranean style diet. The second team chose a low-fat diet and the third group followed a low carbohydrate diet. The participants were also introduced to registered dieticians for a daily 90-minute section.

After the course of two years, the participants managed to burn a certain amount of excess fat from their bodies. While the Mediterranean-diet group lost 4.4 kg, low-fat group lost 2.9 kg and the low-carbohydrate group lost 4.7 kg.

However, a follow-up study of the same research stated that many of the participants regained the lost weight within four years. According to the researchers, it is mainly because the dieters did not follow the diet chart after the dieting period.

The result was quite similar in a 10-year-follow up study, which was published in 2009. According to the study, all the participants regained the weight they lost with the help of a weight loss program.

A recent study by a group of researchers from Stanford University in California has also confirmed the early findings. The research work suggested that dieters will not experience a significant difference in the weight with the help of a calorie-based diet.

A diet based on calorie counting is not effective in a long-term

The relationship between calorie reduction and weight loss is very complicated. It is mainly because there are some other factors, such as body composition and metabolism that affect the formula. Weight loss can also be affected by how the brain perceives the food we consume. Also, calorie counting assumes that all calories are equal which in fact is not true. The impact on your body is entirely different when you consume the same calorie worth of vegetables or fish as against chips or burger. 

So, what is the best way to lose weight?

Experts say that there are no shortcuts to losing weight. According to them, a dieter must begin with a foundational diet to maintain a sustainable weight.

A  foundational diet is rich in more vegetables, more whole foods, more healthy fats, and less added sugar, junk foods, and refined carbohydrates

Calorie counting often misleads people. A dieter easily gets attracted to things like a low-fat brownie or low-carb chips. But these types of food items might “game the system” and have a long-term deleterious effect on your health.

Therefore a dieter must focus more on the quality of food than on calorie counting. If you eat real minimally processed food you would not only have longer satiety but also reduce your cravings for junk food.

Apart from including nutritious rich food in the diet, a dieter should also know about the other factors that can affect weight loss.


The lifestyle of a person can have a greater impact on his or her health and weight. Sleeplessness, stress and irregular eating habits are some of the factors that can affect weight-loss formula. Keeping 3-4 gaps between meals aid in weight loss by reducing insulin resistance. Constant eating keeps the insulin levels high and does not allow the body to burn stored fats. 

To know more about the role of insulin in weight loss read our article Solving the weight loss puzzle 

Hormonal Imbalance

A dieter must be well aware of his health condition before starting any kind of diet. It is mainly because variation in insulin levels, thyroid, fatty liver, hormonal imbalance and Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) can affect body weight. To lose weight you need to first correct the hormonal imbalance.

Physical exercises and metabolism

The more muscles you have the more fat you can burn. Though your diet and lifestyle contribute majorly towards weight loss, physical exercises help you to build muscles that in turn help in weight loss.

Metabolism is another major factor that can affect any kind of weight-loss formula. The crash diets and calorie counting are unable to counter the principle of homeostasis wherein the body reduces the metabolic rate in order to maintain the body weight.

So, stop doing maths and just focus on healthy eating. The best way to lose weight is to understand the nature of your weight gain and provide your body with the right nutrition for weight loss.  

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