A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine yesterday confirms what we’ve known for awhile now: Fad diets just don’t work. In the study, participants were split into three separate groups who all ate the same reduced amount of calories. However, each group’s eating plan was slightly different and loosely based on popular fad diets. One group at a low-fat diet (similar to the popular Dean Ornish diet), another focused on consuming less carbohydrates (like the Atkins and South Beach diets), and the other ate less protein (like the low-animal protien Mediterranean diet).
Instead of showing which of the diets works the best (and what foods we should stop eating immediately), the results showed that after two years, all the participants lost around the same amount of weight, if anything. Most of the participants had a large initial weight loss, but gained much of the weight back over the course of the two-year study, because they returned to their former eating habits.
The results came as no surprise to most of us, who already know that fad diets are hard to stick to. No carbs? Yeah right! No meat? Not gonna happen.
Plus, it’s not healthy to cut one part of your diet out completely; our bodies need fat and carbs. The “trick” (or proven reality) is balancing it all out (yes, your 9th-grade Health teacher was right about the food pyramid). This study proved once and for all that it really doesn’t matter what you cut out of your diet, as long as you’re eating heathlier, and, most importantly, consuming less calories than you burn.
That’s it. Easy as pie. Mmmm, pie.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight, find a healthy eating plan that you know that works for you, and stick to it.
[Photo courtesy of http://www.goforyourlife.vic.gov.au]