DIET&FITNESS Published September25, 2014 By Staff Reporter

Diets Are Not One-Size-Fits-All: Study

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Atkins diet
(Photo : amontillado)

With so many diet programs available in the market, it is easy to believe that any diet plan could work. Although weight loss programs such as Fit Female Club and Weight Watchers generally are characterized by their low-fat or low-carbohydrate properties, it many not be the best for everyone.

This was the conclusion of a study published in JAMA recently, which found that the most important thing in following a diet plan is to do it with discipline and personalize it to fit one's specific needs.

The study also found that a diet program must be easy for dieters to stick to, and must be sustainable for a long period of time.

The research involved a meta-analysis of 50 long-term trials of at least 12 months. Over 7,300 participants were involved. The analysis discovered that dieters significantly lost more weight than non-dieters, and after 6 months, low-carb dieters lost around 19.2 pounds (median weight) and low-fat dieters lost up to 17.6 pounds. Both groups had similar results after the 12th month.

More importantly, the study found that one diet plan is not suited for everyone; tailor-fitting it to one's individual needs makes it easier to adhere to. According to one of the researchers, Dr. Bradley C. Johnston of the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, their findings suggest that "patients may choose among those associated with the largest weight loss, the diet that gives them the least challenges with adherence."

Furthermore, the study suggests that a diet should not be very restrictive as this could heighten the chances of a diet dropout. Severely restrictive dieting can also cause adverse health effects such as muscle loss, over-eating episodes, nutrition deficiency, and weight gain.

Substantial results are largely a product of a balanced diet, whether it be low-carb or low-fat, as long as the dieter adheres to it. Dr. Linda Van Horn, R.D. from Northwestern University emphasized that more than weight loss, it is always important to aim for diet quality that prioritizes micronutrient composition that could "further benefit longevity."

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