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One Surprising Side Effect of Cutting Calories, New Study Finds

For many people trying to lose weight , counting—and cutting—calories is a tried-and-true method of shedding pounds without having to adhere to a specialized diet. However, new research suggests that it's not just your weight that may change when you stick to a calorie-restricted eating plan. According to a June 2021 study published in the journal Nature , calorie restriction can have a significant effect on a person's gut microbiome , as well. To conduct their study, a group led by researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) monitored a group of 80 overweight and obese women over a 16-week period. During this time, half of the study population went on a liquid diet consisting of 800 calories a day, while the other half of the study subjects maintained their weight. RELATED: 20 Foods That Relieve Your Gut Problems, Say Dietitians Among the group adhering to the 800-calorie diet, researchers found that "this very-low-calorie diet profoundly altere