Cutting 300 daily calories improves several health markers

In the journals

Published: October, 2019

Reducing your daily calorie intake by about 300 can improve the numbers for several health markers, according to a study published online July 11, 2019, by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Researchers recruited 218 adults with a body mass index of 22 to 27.9, which is in the range of normal weight and slightly overweight. For a month, half the participants ate three meals a day that reflected about a 25% reduction in their normal daily calorie intake. They also engaged in six months of group and individual counseling sessions. People in the other group continued their usual diet.

The dieters were asked to maintain the 25% calorie reduction for two years, but the average calorie reduction ended up being about 12%, or about 300 calories per day. By the end of the two-year period, the people in the calorie reduction group had achieved and maintained a 10% weight loss, 71% of which came from fat. These people also showed improvements in their total cholesterol, blood pressure, and chronic inflammation levels compared with the control group.

While weight loss was a main contributor to these improvements, the researchers speculated that calorie restriction may trigger a metabolic benefit, too. Cutting a small number of calories is also something most people can do, they added, using such strategies as watching meal portions and reducing nighttime snacking.

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