A brand new study from Stanford University has recently been published and the results are hitting headlines everywhere. In the study, the authors compared a low fat diet to a low carb diet, to see which was more effective for weight loss, over a 12 month period. They also tested for genetics and insulin sensitivity to see if these played a role in predicting the success of the participants. The results found that neither diet was more effective than the other for weight loss, so long as the participants could stick to it! They also found that genetics and insulin production were not able to predict weight loss success in either of the diet groups (in this study).
What can we take away from this new piece of evidence? That you need to be able to stick to any dietary change for it to be effective. The most important aspects of the diets that both groups followed are listed below, and are completely applicable to the general population (ie. you and me!).
* Clients had individual dietary counseling throughout the whole year of the study. This is so important as they had support to implement the changes to their lifestyle. Support is one of the key elements of any lifestyle change, whether is it from a professional, family member, friend or community.
* Both groups were encourage to base their diet on high quality whole foods and drinks. Specifically, they were instructed to increase vegetable intake and reduce intake of added sugars, refined flours and trans fats and focus on whole foods that were minimally processed. This can carry over into any style of eating (low fat/carb, vegetarian, paleo etc).
* Probably my favorite recommendation that the participants were given (and I recommend this to my clients all the time) is to prepare food in the home as often as possible. This can be such a powerful tool when looked to reduce weight or even just improve health. Learning to cook and prepare food will be a lifelong investment in your health.
As always, there is no magic fix for weight loss. We are sure that all of the above factors can make a difference to your health and can be beneficial when trying to lose weight, but nutrition is an evolving science… there is always more to learn!