There are so many diets available, each with their own benefits and negative aspects, but what is the most effective diet?
Well, cutting calories has always been a favourite option, while intermittent fasting is currently a popular choice.
Are either of these diets the most effective diet available? Scientists may have found the answer you are seeking.
What research has been undertaken?
In 2014, the University of Toronto looked at 59 separate weight loss studies, and they concluded that the best diet is the one that people are more likely to stick to long-term.
Another study by JAMA found that those who tried to lose weight with the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers and Zone diets lost a similar amount of weight over the course of a year, but those who stuck to the diets lost the most weight, no matter what type of diet they stuck with.
Obesity researcher Tim Church, the chief medical officer of ACAP Health Consulting and professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University had this to say about the findings:
“If you can’t eat a certain way for the rest of your life, that diet is an exercise in futility.”
“Find a way of eating that becomes your new normal, your new lifestyle. The goal is to find a way of life that happens to improve weight loss. That’s the program that will work.”
This may mean that the diet that is best for your friend is not the best one for you.
Here are some requirements to check that a diet is right for you:
#1: It is healthy
This may seem like an obvious requirement but if you are desperate to see results you maybe tempted to try a diet that could potentially be dangerous.
Most certainly you should avoid those diets that involve the drastic cutting of your daily calorie intake, or the removal of entire food groups.
These diets may work in the short term but ultimately fail, and are likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies.
#2: You should only need to make small changes
Choosing a diet that involves making drastic changes to your current diet is unlikely to be successful in the long run.
The reason for this is that you are unlikely to stick to a diet that restricts what you currently consume.
Of course, to succeed you need to make changes, but they need to be a gradual change, not an overnight one.
For example, instead of saying “you cannot eat anymore junk food”, say “you should cut back on your intake”.
#3: It teaches you essential skills
A successful diet will be one that teaches you how to deal with your triggers, not just one that tells you what you can and cannot do.
These learnt skills will enable you to stick to your diet long term.