Last week, the NY Times published a pretty fascinating article about the addictive nature and subsequent consequences of junk food. In addition to the actual substance of these 'foods', there exists patterns of behavior that adversely affect our health, especially in relation to gaining weight. Research has often showed that altering these lifestyle behaviors, over the course of one's lifetime, in contrast to moving in and out of different diets, helps people more concretely maintain healthy weights. This research was radically reinforced by The New England Journal of Medecine's 30 year study of 120,877 men and women. They picked people without any notable diseases, who were not obese and in generally good health. Their diets and lifestyles were closely monitored, including foods consumed, their physical activity and smoking habits.
The 2011 study resulted in possibly obvious, but highly specific conclusions. There existed little difference between the weight fluctuation of women to men where the average of all participants showed a weight increase of almost four pounds, every four years. Their lifestyles changed accordingly and most participants watched more television, snacked more and exercised less.
With this in mind and a close consideration of the caloric content of the highest weight gaining foods, I've created a "Choose Your Own Adventure" flow chart. With just a few changes, it is easy to keep those 4 or 5 pounds off and maintain whatever weight you may find ideal.
For more topics by the numbers: