There's so much information out there about weight loss and weight management, it's hard to know which advice to follow. Does eating a big breakfast really help? What about sleeping more? Can walking an additional 20 minutes a day really lead to a slimmer waistline over time?
Findings have been released in the New England Journal of Medicine that show that many popular myths about keeping weight under control may not be as effective as some media and word of mouth claims.
Mark Hyman, M.D., wrote for The Huffington Post that it's been routinely said that having more sex will help with weight loss. However, how much energy is exerted during "the act" depends on numerous variables. While sex can blast through 100-300 calories per participant, a six minute episode of intimacy – which, according to Hyman, is average – will only burn 21 calories. That's only slightly more calories than are spent during watching television for the same amount of time.
Having breakfast, on the other hand, can have benefits for weight loss, but only if the breakfast is high in protein, and of a high enough quantity to satisfy and control appetite for the rest of the day. Fruits and vegetables – in addition to enhancing your antioxidant intake – could also help you lose weight, if for no other reason than you're not filling up on junk food.
Additional benefits of Mediterranean diet
One popular weight loss strategy that has been said to effective is the Mediterranean diet – which is packed with olive oil, unrefined grains, as well as fruits and vegetables. Reuters recently reported on a study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and while the study made the strongest case for the Mediterranean diet in its abilities to encourage weight loss and blood sugar control in people with diabetes – low-carb, high protein, low glycemic and low sugar diets were shown to help keep diabetes in check and promote weight loss almost as much.
"We were quite surprised by the Mediterranean diet in particular," lead author Olubukola Ajala from the U.K.'s Western Sussex Hospitals. "I would have thought that low-carb would have been the best for losing weight, but Mediterranean seems to be better."
For this meta-study, Ajala and her colleagues looked at 20 prior studies on specific types of diets and their effect of people with type 2 diabetes.