Several popular diets promoting claims of dramatic weight loss exist in the market. The popular diets are- Paleo, Vegan, Low carb, Dukan, Ultra Low fat, Atkins, HCG, Zone, Weight Watchers, Intermittent Fasting, and Ornish, to name some of them.

The diversity of diets has confused weight loss enthusiasts—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)

Four popular diets (Atkins, Zone, Weight Watchers, and Ornish) for weight loss and cardiac risk factor reduction were studied. No significant variations in weight loss and related parameters between diets exist, indicating 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)

A two-year trial with obese individuals on low-fat, restricted-calorie, Mediterranean restricted-calorie, and low carbohydrate, non-restricted-calorie diets showed that the Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets are more effective alternatives to low-fat diets. The lipids and blood sugar profiles are better in individuals on a Mediterranean diet. (Shai et al., 2008)

The choice of the diet plan depends on the individual’s comfort, food preferences, and goals. It should be a plan that you can continue over an extended time. Only then will the desired results be obtained. Whatever program you pick should include all foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, and nuts.

Food choice and food availability in the local grocery store are important criteria for picking a diet plan. Food should fit your lifestyle and budget.

Diet, simply put, means eating healthy, lower-calorie meals.

And these should be accompanied by a fitness regime.

Additional reading:
Natural Solutions for Obesity

Natural Solutions – book tri-series

 

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