Because so many people are on a diet or thinking about going on a diet, dieting is a very popular subject.
Recently, two studies have been reported that add to the already existing data concerning dieting. In one study, researchers reviewed 48 different studies regarding different diets. It included more than 7,000 individuals.
Diets studied included low-carbohydrate diets, low-fat diets and most of the existing commercial diet programs. Results showed that significant weight loss was present in all of these diets, and there were only small differences in weight loss when one diet was compared with the other.
The researchers concluded, because they determined there was little difference in weight loss between the various diets, individuals should choose the diet that they find easier to adhere to and one that they can realistically follow.
Another study addressed the issue concerning rapid weight loss versus gradual weight loss. There is a widely held opinion that people who lose weight rapidly are more likely to quickly regain weight when compared to those who lose weight gradually.
In the study, about 100 dieters were assigned to the rapid weight loss group, and the same number to a gradual weight loss group. Individuals from both groups who lost 12 1/2 pounds or more were then followed on a weight maintenance diet for 144 weeks or about 2 1/2 years.
Results showed that at this time, approximately 70 percent of the dieters regained most of their lost weight. Researchers concluded that the rate of weight loss, rapid or gradual, did not have any effect on whether the dieters regained weight.
How not to gain weight is fairly simple - don’t consume more calories than you use. It is the excessive calories that result in gaining weight. What is difficult for many people is limiting their caloric intake.
So decide on a diet that is best for you, add exercise and make some lifestyle changes, and before you know it, you will have achieved your goal of having an ideal weight.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy to do.
Massachusetts-based Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.