Is it the Paleo or Mediterranean or The Zone Diet or some other low carb/low fat focused diet program which is going to help you lose weight? We have all read about many diets in magazines, on websites, through Facebook pages (often falling for cheesy headlines). We have also heard directly or through friends/relatives about that one person losing X kilos of weight in just Y months leaving us wondering is there some fixed proven method which works? Today we examine the research on popular diets to answer this very question:
Research On Commercial Weight Loss Programs
A Systematic Review included many studies on 5 commercial diet programs popular in US and analyzed it for weight loss through the program as well as probability of regaining the weight. To paraphrase the conclusion of that review, the results were not conclusive at all. While these weight loss programs are heavily marketed and often carry bad reputation for fraudulent claims, this may not come as surprising for many.
Diets Gone Viral
One may argue that diets which go viral are not making money for a single commercial entity and since they have become popular, they must be effective for the people who’re trying it. This study review included some of those popular diets for the effectiveness and found all of them to be modestly effective with similar results to control group (ones who did nothing) in 2 RCT studies. Not very convincing, right?
So What Works?
What works is adherence. The best diet is the one you’ll stick to. Most of the popular diets have some common elements:more veggies, more protein, less sugar etc. This study on 4 popular diets concluded that people who stuck to their assigned programs lost more weight than people who were following one of the diets but didn’t complete the program.
This is the reason why in our corporate workshops, we talk about macros, micro-nutrients and calorie balance instead of preaching doctrines of a single diet. In our nutritional coaching services (which are online and quite cheap), we never force any client to fall in line with a particular popular diet.
We track your eating habits and adjust accordingly. People differ in terms of body type, their eating habits, foods they like and foods that help them perform better for fitness activities (which adds to fat loss). Some are allergic to certain food groups like dairy or taking medications which alter their hormonal responses. Some even have a budget limitation and working clients usually don’t have time/cooking skills. A good diet program takes care of these factors to make sure that their client sticks to that program. After all, that’s what matters.
In Lucem Scientiam