The Latest Weight Loss Secret Might Be Right in Your Own Backyard

gardeningJust when I thought I'd heard of every weight loss trick, tip, and plan, along comes one that I would have never guessed. It's one you will definitely dig ... literally.

It's gardening. That's right, gardening can help you lose weight -- a lot of weight. According to a new study out of the University of Utah, researchers found that people who garden are as much as 16 pounds lighter on average than their non-gardening counterparts.

Community gardening specifically is said to provide the maximum benefit, but it's safe to assume I think that all gardening would potentially have some benefit. Researchers found women community gardeners have average BMIs that are almost two points lower than those who don't garden. That's about an 11-pound difference for women who are 5 feet 5 inches tall. For men it was more -- up to a 16-pound difference.

The question is why. I mean my thumb is more of a brownish shade than green, but gardening has never seemed particularly strenuous to me. But when you think about it, there are a lot ways it could help your health. From all the bending and stretching and raking to just being out in the sunshine and soaking up Vitamin D.

Plus, there's the benefit of all of that fresh produce being grown that gardeners presumably eat after harvesting it. Whatever it is, it works according to this study, and it's great news. So many people think you have to go to the gym or do something majorly sweaty to fight fat, but this shows, once again, that small lifestyle decisions can really affect our weight in big ways.

So I don't know about you, but I'd much rather tend a garden than take to the treadmill once in awhile. So maybe I'll finally plan that herb garden I've always wanted.

Are you surprised to learn that gardening has this amazing benefit?

 

Image via Mosman Council/Flickr

 

diets, healthy habits