Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Every Diet Works For Someone, No Diet Works For Everyone, Diets Are Difficult - IF 2021 Edition

Joining an ever increasing cavalcade of studies of different diets that demonstrate they all work as well or as poorly as one another comes this week's A randomised controlled trial of the 5:2 diet published in PLoS. 
In it researchers randomly assigned 300 participants to receive either:

1) "Standard" brief contact in the form of a 20 minute chat, and the provision of a booklet discussing UK's national dietary guidelines and a leaflet of various local weight management resources, 
2) 20 minutes of Q&A on IF dieting and provision of a leaflet describing 5:2 style intermittent fasting (IF - where two non-consecutive days of the week people are instructed to eat 500-600 calories total), or 
3) That same IF leaflet and chat as above plus 6 weekly one hour group support sessions spread over the first 6 weeks of dieting.
What'd they find?
1) There was no difference in weight loss between groups at 6 months or 1 year post randomization (average loss of just under 4lbs but with some individuals up to 20lbs)
2) Roughly 50% of the participants of each group dropped out within the year
So I guess the same old unsexy conclusion as always. 
Every diet works for someone. No diet works for everyone. Why? Because diets are difficult to sustain unless you happen to enjoy the one you're on.
And to that end, stay far away from healthcare providers claiming there's one best way to lose. Your best diet is someone else's worst.
[Also, if you're able, please consider donating to my #Movember fundraising efforts. It's my one and only annual ask and I'm 80% of the way to my $3,000 goal. No amount is too small, you can give anonymously, and tax receipts are provided. Simply click here to donate, and if you're wondering how it's going, will post an updated picture this Saturday]