Any diet works, if you stick to it

jfh

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Hamilton, ON (September 2, 2014) – Branded or trademarked diets have similar levels of effectiveness; the key is sticking to it, a research study has found.

Weight loss differences between these popular diets are minimal and likely of little importance to those wanting to lose weight, the researchers say. However, diets with behavioural support and exercise enhance the weight loss.

"We wanted to be the first to compare, in an evidence-based fashion, all existing randomized trials of branded diets to determine their effectiveness with regard to weight loss," says Bradley Johnston, the study's lead author. He is an assistant professor of clinical epidemiology of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, and clinical epidemiologist and scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Published today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the study involved a meta-analysis of 48 randomized clinical trials of branded diets, including more than 7,200 overweight and obese adults with a median age of 46 years. The research team assessed weight loss at six and 12 months.

The study was needed, adds Geoff Ball, associate professor and an obesity expert in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta who was involved in the study. "Given the popularity of these diets around the world, there has been a real lack of research to examine their relative benefits. But overall, the differences between the different diets regarding their impact on weight loss were relatively small."

Johnston notes that the findings are particular to people who followed branded diets over the short-term, and who adhered to the diet. Future research may focus on long-term effectiveness, as well as on outcomes related to overall health.

At six month follow-up, people on low-carbohydrate diets lost 19 more pounds than those who were not on a diet, while those on low-fat diets lost 17 more pounds than those on no diet. After 12 months about two to three pounds of that difference was gone, and there was no difference between low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets.

Behavioural support in a diet made a difference at six months, enhancing weight loss by about seven pounds, while exercise was significant at 12 months, improving weight loss by about four and half pounds.

Branded diets included in the studies examined were Atkins, Weight Watchers, Zone, Jenny Craig, LEARN, Nutrisystem, Ornish, Volumetrics, Rosemary Conley, Slimming World and South Beach.

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Funding for the study came from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
 

d0ug

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Dominican Republic
Yes sticking to a diet will get the results. For example the no body was over weight in the German prison camps so it does work. We live in a world where if you have the money you can eat what you want. The reason people can not stick to a diet is caused by a mineral deficiency that causes cravings. That is why the Yo Yo effect happens to people who diet at a certain time the ergs and craving become over powering and they start eating again. I know personally because I have lost a few hundred pounds only to gain it back with interest. Now after 72 years I have found the truth I now get all my essential mineral and my erg and cravings for food have gone. I return to a normal weight and stayed there.
 

Solstice Goat

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Calorie restriction pop-fad diets don't work. You would think that should be obvious to anyone who thinks for themselves. Problem is, people watch the pop-fad vision system and read the pop-fad paper every day. Their wallets get thin and their waist gets fat. I'm guessing at least their brains get thin. :D
 

Gen1GT

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Oct 5, 2014
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Hamilton, Ontario
Unfortunately, the diets promising the best results with the least effort are the ones people flock to. Regardless, I wish we could substitute a more appropriate word for "diet," which should be used only to describe the way people eat to meet their nutritional needs, not as a way to lose weight, "cleanse," or provide a rock hard six-pack.

I live in Hamilton, so I'm always happy to see the solid research and review papers that come out of McMaster.
 

jbaerbock

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Calorie restriction pop-fad diets don't work. You would think that should be obvious to anyone who thinks for themselves. Problem is, people watch the pop-fad vision system and read the pop-fad paper every day. Their wallets get thin and their waist gets fat. I'm guessing at least their brains get thin. :D
How would you explain my 100lb loss on a calorie restriction diet then? And I definitely do not exercise. The problem with people who fail calorie restriction diets is that they overdue it. Calorie deficit will work but not to an extreme of 800 calories a day. Once your body is in starvation mode forget about sustainable weight loss. I've been eating 1800 calories for 3 years now and that was 100lbs ago ;-).

EDIT: Actually thinking it through that would be 120lbs ago :D
 

knightofalbion

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Yes, if you want to become a millionaire start a fad diet company!

Pretty much all of them will bring in an often spectacular weight loss. This though is down to ditching sugar and calorie-laden junk food - plus taking even modest levels of exercise - not any 'magic formula', and certainly not any miracle working sachet or shake!

Find a healthy, balanced day-to-day diet and lifestyle regime and stick with it. And that is your best bet of staying slim and healthy.

Eating naturally is the key. You can load up with an obscene amount of calories before you know it eating junk food. Very hard to do the same on natural state food.
 

jbaerbock

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Balance is where it's at, this is true. People do often forget though that you can be "all natural" or "Vegetarian" etc... and still be obese. Simply because you're still overeating. Balanced nutritious diet and exercise is where it is at, true story.

I used MyFitnessPal.com to track my eating habbits and found I was eating way too many calories [mostly hidden non-obvious ones]. Didn't specifically eat too much sugar or fats. Cut down the calories and I lost weight. Ate healthier with less sugars and fats and lost even more. Don't need an expensive plan to figure these things out, you are correct there. Sadly many people now a days think they are too busy to spend time on their diet and therefore pay for someone else to tell them what to eat "enter the diets you mentioned".
 

knightofalbion

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How would you explain my 100lb loss on a calorie restriction diet then? And I definitely do not exercise. The problem with people who fail calorie restriction diets is that they overdue it. Calorie deficit will work but not to an extreme of 800 calories a day. Once your body is in starvation mode forget about sustainable weight loss. I've been eating 1800 calories for 3 years now and that was 100lbs ago ;-).

EDIT: Actually thinking it through that would be 120lbs ago :D
Good for you!

Exactly, calories in, calories out - it's not rocket science!

I would question the 'no exercise' part however. It doesn't need to be weights and distance running though. A good walk in the park, preferably briskly, that's as good as anything in my book. And certainly more sensible if the person is overweight.
 

jbaerbock

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Oh yeah, certainly exercise is part of a balanced plan. Was just stating that in my case it didn't happen. I'm a desk jockey and the only exercise I ever get/got was/is up the stairs to the water dispenser to refill my water :D.
 

Solstice Goat

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How would you explain my 100lb loss on a calorie restriction diet then? And I definitely do not exercise. The problem with people who fail calorie restriction diets is that they overdue it. Calorie deficit will work but not to an extreme of 800 calories a day. Once your body is in starvation mode forget about sustainable weight loss. I've been eating 1800 calories for 3 years now and that was 100lbs ago ;-).

EDIT: Actually thinking it through that would be 120lbs ago :D
I probably eat around 2800 calories, most from fat, and I don't have a weight problem. How is your muscle mass? ;)
 

Living Food

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Exactly, calories in, calories out - it's not rocket science!
This is true for the vast majority of people, but not so much for certain people. There is a lot more to the story than just calories. To be honest the whole "calorie" concept is highly flawed - caloric content is measured by how much heat a food gives off when it is completely incinerated. Last time I checked, there wasn't a furnace in my stomach :D But the big issue with the calorie theory is that it assumes everyone extracts the same amount of calories from the same food, no matter their situation or level of health. Some people don't digest food well so they get less calories from their food, and some people get more. Some people completely defy science and thrive on under 1000 calories a day and are highly active, how do we explain that? It turns out that calories are just one kind of fuel for the human body to run on, and certainly not an ideal one.

The cleaner and healthier your body is and the cleaner your diet, the more you will be able to tap into some of these alternative sources of fuel and will require far less calories than the average person.

I probably eat around 2800 calories, most from fat, and I don't have a weight problem. How is your muscle mass?
Then there's all sorts of mundane things that also shoot holes in the calorie theory like how certain foods and macronutrients enhance your metabolism more than others or prevent your body from storing fat, which explains Solstice Goat's post. But I don't like to talk about these mundane reasons because they're boring :)
 

Living Food

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People do often forget though that you can be "all natural" or "Vegetarian" etc... and still be obese.
That's because those people aren't actually eating a natural diet...many people seem to confuse the "all natural" label on processed foods with actual natural food. Anything with an "all natural" label by default comes in a can or box or some other type of packaging, so it isn't natural food. Apples don't have stickers saying "all natural", because they don't need one. Anything that needs such a label isn't natural.

As for vegetarians, all that means is the person doesn't eat meat. They could live solely on french fries and potato chips and call themselves a vegetarian but that doesn't make it a natural diet.
 

jbaerbock

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Sorry but I did indeed mean "all natural". Can get purely organic from farm to plate ingredients and still be obese. If you eat 4 organic all natural steaks each meal and a heap of potatoes etc...very likely to be overweight.
 

Living Food

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That is certainly true, and like I said the vast majority of people are bound to the calorie paradigm and need to eat large volumes of food, and they would get fat from eating a lot of it, no matter how healthy it is. But if you really bring your health up to high levels your caloric needs go waayyyyy down and you wouldn't be able to eat that much food, just a small amount would make you feel full.

A little more information about calories and why calorie counting is very inaccurate:

There are two basic flaws in using caloric values to determine the amounts of food we should eat:

1. The more obvious flaw in the argument is that our bodies do not burn foods in the same way that they are burned in a bomb calorimeter. If they did, we would glow in the dark. Our digestive process is quite inefficient. The chemical process whereby blood sugar is oxidized to provide energy produces carbon dioxide. About half is exhaled as carbon dioxide; the other half is excreted in sweat, urine and faeces as energy-containing molecules, the energy values of which must be deducted from the original food intake. All of these vary. For example, eating a lot of fat forms ketones, which can be found in urine. The value of a gram of ketones derived from fat is roughly four calories. So, in this case, nearly half the energy from the fat is lost.

2. The second and more important flaw in the argument is that the body does not use all its food to provide energy. The primary function of dietary proteins, for example, is body cell manufacture and repair: making skin, blood, hair and finger- and toe-nails, etc. The amount of protein needed for this purpose is generally accepted to be about one gram per kilogram of lean body weight. As meats contain approximately 23 grams of protein per 100 grams, a person weighing, say, 70 kg (11 stone) needs to eat about 300 g (11 oz) of meat, or its equivalent, every day just to supply his basic protein needs. Even eating this volume of lean chicken would provide some 465 calories. These calories are not used to supply energy; they contribute nothing to the body’s calorie needs and so must be deducted if you are counting calories.

Much of the fat we eat is also used to provide materials used by the body in processes other than the production of energy: the manufacture of bile acids and hormones, the essential fatty acids for the brain and nervous system, and so on. All these must be deducted as well. Thus trying to determine, from food intake and energy expenditure alone, how much excess energy your body will store as fat will give a completely wrong answer. However, these other factors cannot be measured. Therefore, calorie-counting, which is the foundation of practically every modern slimming diet, is a complete waste of time.

And there is one more flaw: We are told by the ‘experts’ that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. What they mean is that it is impossible for two diets containing exactly the same number of calories to lead to different weight losses. Yet, over the last century a spate of dietary studies has shown that, calorie for calorie, low-carbohydrate diets are much better at reducing weight than the traditional low-fat diets. ‘Experts’ have heavily criticized these studies saying that the data could not be right because that would violate the laws of thermodynamics. But they don’t. It is important to realize that there is more than one law of thermodynamics. The narrow view that ‘a calorie is a calorie’ might comply with the First Law, but it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The point is that there is no doubt that low-carb, high-fat diets do have a metabolic advantage when it comes to weight loss, whatever the ‘experts’ say.[2] And this metabolic advantage complies fully with the second Law of Thermodynamics — and, incidentally, the First Law as well.

The First Law, as mentioned above, is a conservation law. The Second Law is a dissipation law; it is this Second Law which governs the chemical reactions in our bodies.

Let me use an analogy. The energy in the petrol that fuels your car makes the car go along, but it also produces heat through friction and noise, which we really don’t need. The Second Law is all about efficiency — how much of the energy we put in does useful work and how much is wasted. Thus, although all of the energy in the petrol is accounted for and complies with the First Law, the actual moving of the car, if the waste products (heat and noise) are removed from the equation, does not. The Second Law was developed in this context. And it applies equally when we look at the efficiency of our bodies and how different foods affect our bodies. The Second Law says that no machine is completely efficient: Some of the available energy is lost as heat or in the internal rearrangement of chemical compounds and other changes. And as different foods use different metabolic pathways, with different levels of efficiency, variations in efficiency must be expected. For this reason, the dogma that a ‘calorie is a calorie’ violates the second law of thermodynamics as a matter of principle.

It is the differences in chemical changes within our bodies that make low-carb diets better than low-fat, calorie-controlled ones easier to lose weight on. What the diet dictocrats fail to take into consideration when considering the laws of thermodynamics are the energy losses incurred in the different chemical changes within our bodies. When these are taken into consideration, neither law of thermodynamics is violated.

———————————————————————–

First, a calorie is nothing more, or less, that a unit of energy, just as the BTU, erg, foot-pound, joule, horsepower-hour, watt-hour, electron-volt, or Newton-meter are.  The term “calorie”, as uniformly misused in the bizarre pseudoscience of orthodox nutrition, is really the kilocalorie: the amount of heat required to raise a kilogram of water one degree Centigrade.  The way the ‘calorie content’ of a substance is determined is to burn one gram of it to completion in high-pressure, pure oxygen in a

How does this relate to human nutrition?  It really does not, because we do NOT “burn” our eaten food to completion, as always occurs in the Parr bomb.  Here, “burning to completion” means that all the carbon is burned completely to carbon dioxide, and all the hydrogen is burned completely to water; clearly this does not happen in human digestion!  In fact, since all proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are NOT used for energy, and are indeed used for other quite different purposes than producing energy, the abstract “calorie content” of “foods” and nutrients is absolutely irrelevant and meaningless.  Worse, thinking that one calorie-equivalent of protein, one calorie-equivalent of fat, or one calorie-equivalent of carbohydrate are in any way similar or identical, as seen by our digestive biochemistry, is simply absurd.  Would a ‘calorie’ of DDT, gasoline, wood, alcohol, diamond, feces, iron, or an old shoe, be somehow ‘equivalent’ to a calorie of protein, fat, or cho?  Obviously not.  Further, since a calorie is a unit of energy, it can NOT be “burned” as is foolishly claimed in the currently popular nutribabble about “burning calories”!. What would you get?Calorie oxide?

Calories are a useful concept in thermodynamics and physics, but they are totally irrelevant to human nutrition or diet. It makes as much sense to try to classify and/or quantify “foods” by their density, color, refractive index, shape, electrical conductivity, pH, heat capacity, tensile strength, compressive modulus, sheer modulus, melting point, boiling point, thermal conductivity, dielectric constant, absorption spectra, dipole moment, optical rotation, solubility, surface tension, thermal expansion, vapor pressure, viscosity, reaction kinetics, or any other -totally irrelevant- physical property as their “calorie content”.
http://rawschool.com/2011/calorie-theory-deeply-flawed/

P.S - welcome to the forum!
 

jbaerbock

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Minnesota
Sooo carb guy? Gotcha ;-)

I use calories as a beginning reference point but do pay attention to my fats, sugars, proteins, etc... as well. Calories is just the easiest most rounded out quick snap shot way of seeing how something you're chucking in your mouth is going to work out for you. When you think about it a carb measurement is really a combination of other items such as sugar content. I think of it as a nutrition tree where Calorie is the topic and then under that you have Fats, Carbs, Proteins, Vitamins. Within those sub topics you have sugars, fibers, specific fats, specific vitamins, etc...

So while I completely agree that flat out calorie counting is not a good way to control nutrition and by extension weight, neither is flat out carb counting. You need to balance the whole picture. And as you stared many who calorie count fail. That's because of this:

Pop [Soda if in Wisconsin] Coke = 140 calories [seems not bad so people binge on it]

Second look shows how useless to your body those calories are = 39g sugar/carbs and nothing remotely nutritionally valuable.

Pop is just the easiest example so I used it. But it shows the point well that people need to stop selecting specific items and claim they are the holy grail and instead take something at it's overall value before swallowing.

Hope that made sense and actually explained my point haha.
 

Solstice Goat

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Calories is just the easiest most rounded out quick snap shot way of seeing how something you're chucking in your mouth is going to work out for you.

A calorie is the least reliable way to know how a food substance that your body needs. I don't count calories to control my weight. I eat when I'm hungry, and I don't eat when I'm not hungry. My only 'rule' is nothing 'carby' three hours before bedtime, not that I eat many carbs at any time.
 

jbaerbock

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Minnesota
A calorie is the least reliable way to know how a food substance that your body needs. I don't count calories to control my weight. I eat when I'm hungry, and I don't eat when I'm not hungry. My only 'rule' is nothing 'carby' three hours before bedtime, not that I eat many carbs at any time.
Unfortunately a lot of people are not quite as in-touch with their actual hunger. A lot of people are emotional, depressed, social, etc... eaters.

That's a really good move not eating carby stuff before bed :). I've also heard sugary stuff is bad right away in the morning. I sometimes fall short of that rule due to coffee w/flavored creamer as soon as I roll out of bed.
 

Living Food

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Sooo carb guy? Gotcha ;-)
Not sure if you mean that I eat lots of carbs or that I don't eat lots of carbs, but I much prefer fat to carbohydrates.

I think of it as a nutrition tree where Calorie is the topic and then under that you have Fats, Carbs, Proteins, Vitamins. Within those sub topics you have sugars, fibers, specific fats, specific vitamins, etc...

So while I completely agree that flat out calorie counting is not a good way to control nutrition and by extension weight, neither is flat out carb counting.
I don't count any of these things :D The only thing I count is how many ounces of green juice I have everyday, I always aim for 32-40oz.

My only 'rule' is nothing 'carby' three hours before bedtime, not that I eat many carbs at any time.
It's best not to eat anything at all within three hours of going to sleep.

Unfortunately a lot of people are not quite as in-touch with their actual hunger. A lot of people are emotional, depressed, social, etc... eaters.
Yes, and these people need to fill the void in their lives and stop using food as a crutch. All of these things are caused by an unnatural lifestyle and not having the connection with the higher power. An easy way to get more in tune with your body and learn to distinguish actual hunger from emotional cravings is to fast one day a week, which also has many other benefits.
 

Living Food

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Sooo carb guy? Gotcha ;-)
It's interesting how most people can be classified like that, most are highly polarized in one specific camp or another for many issues. Why do we have some people strongly advocating one type of diet and others advocating a completely opposite way of eating just as strongly??? It's because people like to buy into concepts and not do too much thinking for themselves, so they jump on the bandwagon someone else created - that's how fad diets sweep the nation, for example. High fat, high carb, high protein...all of these are partial truths and relative truths, none of them is an absolute truth. It seems to me that most people do well on a higher fat and lower carbohydrate diet, but there are people who do much better on very high carbohydrate low fat diets, but they're in the minority. Everybody is different and there are few hard and fast rules about the human diet. Some people eat almost exclusively animal products and thrive, others eat only plant foods and thrive, some thrive eating only cooked food and some thrive eating only raw food (not many). The truth is that humans can do well and be physically healthy on a large variety of diets because the human body is extremely adaptable. I promote higher fat because that works best for most people but the diet is easily tailored to individual needs and can be high carb just as easily. The goal here isn't to be stuck in limiting paradigms but to do what works.

The other key is to go above the physical and start consuming a more natural food (cosmic vibrations) so that we can completely bypass these partial truths and go straight to the ultimate truth.
 

Solstice Goat

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Unfortunately a lot of people are not quite as in-touch with their actual hunger. A lot of people are emotional, depressed, social, etc... eaters.

That's a really good move not eating carby stuff before bed :). I've also heard sugary stuff is bad right away in the morning. I sometimes fall short of that rule due to coffee w/flavored creamer as soon as I roll out of bed.

True and in many cases the diet is causing the mental malady.

As Living Food said, it is bast to eat nothing within three hours of sleep, but if one was exhausted and starving, protein is your best bet.

I can't stand flavored creamers for the taste or what's in them. I do heavy cream in my coffee.
 

shivali

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Dec 8, 2021
Restriction of calories Diets based on popular culture is ineffective. That should be self-evident to everyone who thinks for themselves. People watch the pop-fad vision system and read the pop-fad paper every day, which is a problem. Their wallets become thin, and their waistlines get bloated. At the very least, I'm thinking their brains thin down.
 


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