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TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?: Eating More and Losing Weight with a Low Energy Dense Diet

Sweat, Whitney M.S., R.D.; Manore, Melinda M. Ph.D., R.D., CSSD, FACSM

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e31825a6ecc

LEARNING OBJECTIVE • To introduce health and fitness professionals to the role of low energy dense diets as a method of promoting healthy weight loss and eating behaviors and the prevention of weight regain.

Currently, 68% of the U.S. population is estimated to be overweight or obese. Many of these individuals struggle at weight loss and the prevention of weight regain once weight has been lost. Learning to follow a low energy dense diet that is high in whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and meat can be an effective method of promoting a healthy eating pattern and reducing energy intake while maintaining satisfying portions. Combining this dietary pattern with physical activity, which preserves lean tissue and helps with long-term weight maintenance, may provide clients with the skills they need for successful weight maintenance.

A low energy-dense diet is an effective method to reduce energy intake, maintain satisfying portions, and promote healthy eating behaviors for successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance.

Whitney Sweat, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian who recently completed her master’s degree in nutrition with a minor in exercise science from Oregon State University. Her research focused on the effect of low energy dense diets and high-intensity physical activity on changes in body weight, waist circumference, and chronic disease risk factors in abdominally obese women.

Melinda M. Manore, Ph.D., R.D., CSSD, FACSM, is a professor of nutrition, at the School of Biological and Population Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on the role of diet and exercise in energy balance to achieve a healthy sustainable weight and the nutrition needs of active individuals.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest and do not have any financial disclosures.

© 2012 American College of Sports Medicine.