A study released by the New England Journal of Medicine is further proof that low-carb, low-fat or similarly radical diets aren’t the key to lasting weight loss. After studying nearly 1,000 different dieters, the study concluded that programs featuring specialized rations, like low carbs, or low fat or high protein, all yield similarly mediocre results.
The study reviewed 811 overweight adults over the course of two years and required each of them to follow one of four available diets. The diets are presumed to all have the same number of daily calories, but differed significantly in the amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates (carbs) required. Some diets were high in protein, others were high in carbs, while others were a more moderate mix of the two. After the two year study ended, the average weight loss across the four groups was about 9 kilograms (roughly 20 pounds).
Other factors were involved such as group and individual sessions that included behavioral counseling, a food diary and about 90 minutes of weekly exercise. The worst part? Overall, 20 percent of participants regained their weight while those that were in the high-protein or low-carb groups were more likely to regain their weight after only six months.
The study found that "diets tailored to individual patients on the basis of their personal and cultural preferences" had the best chance for long-term success. In other words: you’re way more likely to lose weight (and keep it off) if you eat healthier versions of your favorite foods. Hmm, that’s great news for us!
– Whitney Teal
Photo courtesy of Herb Vitality