Does Choice of Diet Affect Weight-Loss Success?

Patients most often lose weight successfully when they adhere to a diet. Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Health System evaluated the effects on patients who chose their diet and those who were instructed about dietary guidelines.

The team gave 105 adults the initial choice between either a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet and the option to switch 12 weeks into the study. Another 102 control participants were randomly assigned a diet. All patients received 2 to 4 weeks of dietary counseling.

After 48 weeks, both the choice groups and the control groups showed a similar mean weight loss. Fewer than 5 percent of the patients changed their mind 12 weeks into the study. Dietary adherence, physical activity, and weight-related quality of life were also similar. Thus, weight loss did not depend on whether participants chose their own diets.

The study suggests that weight loss and sticking with a diet are not correlated to picking a diet as much as having the support and direction from a trusted outside source.

(Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, June 16, 2015.

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