48 clinical trials attest; diet is not the solution.
For the umpteenth time, researchers have published proof that no matter what diet a person chooses (Paleo, Wheat Belly, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutraSystem, etc.), the chances for success are the same. Whether the plan focuses on low fat or low carbohydrate, the study, involving 48 clinical trials and 7000 patients, resulted in an average weight loss of 18 pounds over 6 months. From one diet program to another, the differences were minimal. Basically, the difference between Jenny Craig, Atkins, NutraSystem, and you name it, was not enough to matter. Among scientists, the study was confirming, leading scientists to conclude that there is nothing magical about cutting carbohydrates or fat or adding protein.
These findings are not particularly new, but with every new fad diet that bursts on the scene, there’s an implicit challenge to the conclusion. The more interesting and persistent question is why test subjects in the reviewed studies had begun to gain weight back by the one-year mark – to wit, in all 48 trials, the participants started gaining weight back by one year. This caused the authors of the study to call out the true challenge for diet research: the need to understand how people can maintain their initial weight losses.
The authors reached an obvious conclusion, that the best dietary plan is one you can live with for a long time (i.e. the rest of your life).
The long view should be considered when comparing ways to lose weight and gain health. Considering the long view means choosing an approach that gives you the fewest challenges. And though the medical community often focuses on shedding pounds as a goal-oriented metric for improving health among the the obese, the root of the problem is rarely found in weight loss and weight control. FitRx focuses on health and well-being rather than the number of pounds. We consider the gold standard for longevity is an approach that offers encouragement and insight on attuned eating, healthy choices, image empowerment, physical wellness, joyful movement, mindfulness, and stress reduction.
Johnston BC et al Comparison of weight loss among named diet programs in overweight and obese adults: a meta-analysis JAMA (2014) 312: 923 – 933.
Van Horn L et al Diet by any other name is still about energy JAMA (2014) 312: 900 -901.