Calorie is king; type of diet not important
You may have seen this news article recently about the study that seems to indicate it doesn’t matter what kind of diet you choose in order to lose weight, as long as the net result of the diet is reduced calories. I thought this was pretty interesting, kind of a no-shitter and yet it’s nice to know there’s actual data that goes against what’s constantly being marketed by the diet industry. Basically, the study shows no one diet plan — low carb, South Beach, low fat, whatever — is more successful than another on its own, it’s all about the bottom line: calories consumed (each plan studied cut about 750 calories from a normal diet, but no one ate fewer than 1,200 calories a day).
The real question, according to Dr. Frank M. Sacks, the study’s lead author, is what are the biological, psychological or social factors that influence whether a person can stick to any diet. “The effect of any particular diet group is minuscule, but the effect of individual behavior is humongous,” Sacks said. “We had some people losing 50 pounds and some people five 5 pounds. That’s what we don’t have a clue about.”
Heh. He said “humongous”.
Anyway, as he goes on to say in the article, “[...] researchers should focus less on the actual diet but on finding what is really the biggest governor of success in these individuals.”
The takeaway? Find a diet plan that works for you. Write down what you eat, if that helps. Be aware of what’s going in your body. Don’t worry about sticking with a specific plan that forbids certain types of foods if that’s not your style, because as long as you’re reducing your calories, you’re doing the right thing.