News / Edmonton

Weight loss not hinged on diet plan, but dieter's commitment: U of A researchers

Doing something is always better than nothing — that’s what a new study published from local researchers is claiming when it comes to dieting.

As part of a joint study completed by researchers at the U of A and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., adhering to any diet — whether it’s low-carb, high-carb or low-fat — is the best recipe for success.

“If you’re going to start a diet and use that to manage your weight and achieve some weight loss, then doing something can you lead you down that path,” said Geoff Ball, a U of A associate professor with expertise in nutrition and weight management.

“Adherence to the diet was really the important thing that came out of this,” he added. “It didn’t matter if it was low carb or low fat, if you could stick to it that was the most important thing.”

After reviewing almost 50 individual studies with more than 7,000 participants, Ball said the study found weight loss is driven by the dieters’ commitment to the eating plan.

“At the end of the day, doing something was better than nothing,” he said.

Researchers found that the differences between losing weight on different diets was consistent when we're committed, but those who were most successful had behavioural support and exercised.

For Ball, the best diet is something that is practical and is feasible for dieters to follow.

“You need to be able to fit it into your life,” he said.

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