Three factors are externally responsible for obesity and obesity control. These are:
Nutrition: Certain foods, such as refined carbohydrates and unsaturated fats, contribute the most to obesity
Medicine: Certain prescription medicine, including anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, medications for diabetes, hypertension, migraines, seizures, bipolar disorder, allergies, insomnia, and a host of others, are associated with weight gain.
Sleep: Disrupted sleep, sleep less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours, can lead to obesity. Difficulty in breathing can also be a reason for disturbed sleep.
Once you know or have scientifically investigated the cause of obesity, we can look at solutions.
I have looked at the scientific evidence behind the three common nature-based recommendations of obesity control which are – diet, exercise, and natural supplements. In this reply, I will restrict myself to the first component – diet.
Diet: The diversity of diets has the weight loss enthusiast confused. Proponents of each diet claim that their recommendation is the best for you.
A review of four diets emphasizing different nutrients – protein, carbohydrate, and fat showed that no diet achieved more clinically significant weight loss when compared to the other. Weight loss took place regardless of macronutrients. Weight loss was an outcome of calorie deficit created during dieting. (Sacks et al., 2009)
A comparison trial with obese individuals subjected to either a low-carbohydrate diet or a conventional weight loss diet showed better outcomes at the end of a year in individuals on a low-carb diet. Lipid and sugar levels in the blood were more favorable in such individuals. (Stern et al., 2004)
The effectiveness of four popular diets (Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers, and Ornish) for weight loss showed no significant variations in weight loss and related parameters. It indicates that all the diets were equally effective. (Dansinger et al., 2005)
Another study on overweight and obese premenopausal women who followed Atkins, Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets showed no adverse metabolic effects of the Atkins diet within the 12-month study period. Conclusive evidence for the cause of benefits is not available. These could be due to low carbohydrate intake or other aspects of the diet like high protein intake. (Gardner et al., 2007)