The Lunch Trick That Takes Off Pounds

Eat what you want and still lose weight with this simple lunch swap.

By Health Editors
weight loss packaged food granola energy meal replacement bar picture
Photograph: Juanmonino

Want to lose weight without feeling like you’re dieting? Simply cut calories at your midday meal, suggests a recent Cornell University study. For two weeks study participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted at a buffet for all their meals and snacks. During the following two weeks, they ate a 200-calorie packaged food, such as a Kashi bar or Lean Pocket, for lunch, and whatever they wanted from the buffet during other mealtimes. Researchers found that on low-calorie lunch days participants consumed 245 fewer calories—losing an average of 1.1 pounds each in two weeks. “The prevailing notion is that if you create a deficit, you’re going to make up for it later,” says David A. Levitsky, PhD, lead author and a professor of nutrition at Cornell University. “In this study, we found no evidence of any compensation.”

Read: The New York Times

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First Published September 7, 2011

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