This Snack Might Hold the Secret to Holiday Weight Loss
The holiday season is a chance to sit back, relax and take a real breather. But, unfortunately, taking the foot off the accelerator often also means hitting pause on those pesky fitness goals. Runs, gym sessions and yoga classes tend to take a backseat to the carousel of entrees, desserts and snacks that magically appear at this time of year. But that post-New Year’s dad bod isn’t a foregone conclusion; all you need is a smart snack to prune back those holiday layers.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have revealed that eating prunes helped a group of dieters get a better handle on their appetites. Those who swapped their usual snacks for the nutrient-dense fruit managed to lose slightly more weight than their “anything goes” counterparts over a 12-week period.
The study took place over two phases. In the first, participants ate either prunes, raisins, or Jelly Bean-like sweets during the experiment. Researchers found that those tucking into prunes tended to consume fewer calories during their next meal. They also reported feeling less hungry, managing to feel fuller after eating.
In the second phase, researchers analysed how much weight participants lost after completing a 12-week weight loss programme. Participants were divided into two groups, with one snacking on prunes and the other choosing to snack on whatever they wanted (while receiving advice on healthy snacking). The result: those in “prune party” lost about half a kilogram more on average than those given free rein.
The authors say that the study shows that there could be an advantage to eating prunes over other snack choices.