Choosing your own diet for weight loss may yield less impressive results, according to a new study.
I always thought that is was better to choose your own diet plan and stick to it to lose weight, but this may backfire and lead to less weight loss, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. William S. Yancy Jr. of the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina and his coauthors, divided 207 participants into two groups. One group was allowed to choose their preferred diet from two options, a low-carb or a low-fat diet plan (Ann. Intern Med. 2015). They were also allowed to switch diets after 12 weeks if they were not satisfied with their initial choice and the study lasted for 48 weeks. The other group was randomly assigned to one of the diets, regardless of their food choices, and did not get an option to change diet plans.
Patients who chose their diet lost slightly less weight compared to those who had no choice. After 48 weeks, the choice group lost an average of 12.6 pounds while the other group lost an average of 14.8 pounds.
I understand that a few pounds is not a big weight loss difference but it shows experts that there is another option to losing weight which is letting others such as doctors or physicians choose your diet plan.
“The difference in weight loss was not statistically significant,” admitted study author Dr. William Yancy Jr., a research associate in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at Duke University in Durham, N.C. “The weight loss was similar between the two groups. It’s just that the direction of effect was not even in the expected direction.”
The study did not show long-term success for maintaining weight loss, and the difference in fat loss between the two groups was not statistically significant, therefore one might believe that picking a diet plan based on food preferences may be better in the long run (Ann. Intern Med. 2015).
“That is certainly a reasonable argument,” says Yancy. “However, for those who are looking for ways to enhance the weight-loss effects of lifestyle modification, choosing a diet based on food preferences does not seem to do that.”
I believe that the best diet for some people may be where they have to try new foods. I do not think it is a good idea to select food preferences that are high in calories as this could make it difficult to control portion size.
This study is just a reminder that to really lose weight, you must make healthy changes to your diet, even though they might not be changes you desire.
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Source: Yancy WS, Mayer SB, Coffman CJ, Smith VA, Kolotin RL, Geiselman PJ, et al. “Effect of Allowing Choice of Diet on Weight Loss: A Randomized Trial. Ann Inter Med. 2015