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Review
, 102 (1), 107-124

Dietary Management of Obesity: Cornerstones of Healthy Eating Patterns

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Review

Dietary Management of Obesity: Cornerstones of Healthy Eating Patterns

Alissa D Smethers et al. Med Clin North Am.

Abstract

Several dietary patterns, both macronutrient and food based, can lead to weight loss. A key strategy for weight management that can be applied across dietary patterns is to reduce energy density. Clinical trials show that reducing energy density is effective for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. A variety of practical strategies and tools can help facilitate successful weight management by reducing energy density, providing portion control, and improving diet quality. The flexibility of energy density gives patients options to tailor and personalize their dietary pattern to reduce energy intake for sustainable weight loss.

Keywords: Dietary patterns; Dietary strategies; Energy density; Satiety; Weight management.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BARBARA J. ROLLS RECEIVES ROYALTIES FROM THE VOLUMETRICS BOOKS.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Weight loss over 2 years in adults assigned to 1 of 4 diets with different proportions of Carbohydrate/Protein/Fat as listed. There was no significant difference in weight loss related to the macronutrient composition. Data from Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ, et al. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009; 360(9):859–873.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The portion size of a 100-calorie snack varies depending on the energy density (ED) of the food. Jelly beans (ED 4.0 calories per gram) and raisins (ED 3.1 calories per gram) are high in energy density and provide small portions. Grapes (ED 0.69 kcal/g), apples (ED 0.53 kcal/g), and cherry tomatoes (ED 0.18 kcal/g) are lower in energy density and provide much bigger portions. Courtesy of The Penn State Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior, University Park, PA.
Figure 3
Figure 3
These three plates all contain steak, a baked potato with toppings, and vegetables. The plate on the far left contains 800 calories, which is almost half of a day’s worth. However, if as shown in the middle picture, the portions of all foods are decreased to provide a 400-calorie meal, they do not appear very satisfying. The picture on the right also provides 400 calories but provides a more satisfying meal by increasing the portions of low-energy-dense foods, reducing the fat content, and moderating the protein portion. Courtesy of The Penn State Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior, University Park, PA.

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