• Should We End The Diet Wars?



      By: Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience

      What's the best diet for maintaining a healthy weight and warding off chronic diseases? Is it a low-carb diet, a high-carb diet, an all-vegetable diet, a no-vegetable diet?

      Researchers say you'd be better off just forgetting the word diet, according to an editorial published today (Aug. 20) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

      Two researchers -- Sherry Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., and Bradley Appelhans of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago -- call for an end to the so-called diet wars, because they are all equally as good, or bad, in helping people fight obesity.

      In the end, patients only get confused thinking that one diet is superior to another, they said, when in fact changes in lifestyle, not diet types, are the true ways to prevent weight gain and the associated ills of diabetes and circulatory disease.

      "The amount of resources that have gone into studying 'what' to eat is incredible, and years of research indicate that it doesn't really matter, as long as overall calories are reduced," Appelhans told LiveScience. "What does matter is 'how' to eat, as well as other things in lifestyle interventions, such as physical activity and supportive behaviors that help people stay on track [in the] long term."

      The researchers cite numerous studies that demonstrated only moderate success with various types of diet that focus on macronutrients: protein, fat or carbohydrates; but regardless of diet, without a lifestyle change, the weight comes back.

      Conversely, several large and recent studies -- such as the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study and the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study -- found lower weight and lower incidence of diabetes among study participants many years after the study's initial completion because the subjects were taught howto lose weight through lifestyle interventions.

      Lifestyle trumps diet

      Pagoto described lifestyle interventions as three-prong: dietary counseling (how to control portions, reduce high-calorie foods and navigate restaurants), exercise counseling (how to set goals, target heart rate and exercise safely), and behavioral modification (how to self-monitor, problem solve, stay motivated and understand hunger).

      "The 'diet' used within a lifestyle intervention can be low-fat, low-carb, etc. It doesn't matter," Pagoto said. "In fact, at least one study compared a low-fat lifestyle intervention with a low-carb lifestyle intervention, and it made no difference. The diet itself [is not] instrumental to the lifestyle interventions success; it is the behavioral piece that is key."

      Pagoto agreed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of weight gain and heart disease. A massive study involving more than 70,000 Seventh-Day Adventists, published in JAMA in June, found that dedicated vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians (who eat fish) live longer than meat eaters. But that doesn't mean a vegetarian diet is all it takes to help you stay healthy.

      "Adherence is key, and the way to destroy adherence is forcing foods on someone they do not like, do not know how to prepare, or can't afford," Pagoto said.

      Why diets go wrong

      Indeed, the authors wrote that the only consistent fact in all the diet studies is that adherence is the element most strongly associated with weight loss and disease risk reduction.

      Pagoto described five challenges to any diet that she sees with her patients: having no time to cook or exercise; being too stressed out, having family members bring junk food home; not having anyone to exercise with, or feeling awkward exercising; and feel hungry all the time. The ratio of fat to carb to protein doesn't come into play.

      Most her of obese patients understand which foods are healthful and unhealthful, she said. So she works with her patients to find ways to make healthy behaviors more routine, regardless of the patient's type of diet.

      Pagoto and Appelhans call for more research on diet adherence. The authors described the amount of adherence research as miniscule compared to that on studying the large fad diets.

      Similarly, the general population knows more about nuances of these diets -- Atkins, South Beach, the Zone and such -- than they do about the basics of adherence; and that, the authors said, is central to the obesity epidemic.

      Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3789932.html
      Comments 8 Comments
      1. bono1132's Avatar
        bono1132 -
        Coming from a person on a salaried job with a wife in the same boat... it's insanely tempting to eat out more and more... especially when you love your family and want to spend more than three hours with them before its time for bed. I've been home off work a week now cooking all meals and, like I tell all friends who want to get healthy, the nutrition is more work than the gym!! It's exhausting to cook a nice meal and clean up for the day, you either want it or you don't!
      1. ILOVEH8ERS's Avatar
        ILOVEH8ERS -
        Originally Posted by bono1132 View Post
        Coming from a person on a salaried job with a wife in the same boat... it's insanely tempting to eat out more and more... especially when you love your family and want to spend more than three hours with them before its time for bed. I've been home off work a week now cooking all meals and, like I tell all friends who want to get healthy, the nutrition is more work than the gym!! It's exhausting to cook a nice meal and clean up for the day, you either want it or you don't!
        I agree!! Limiting restaurant occasions to one night a week or less is so difficult. Working full time, picking up the the little one from day care then coming home and preparing a meal for the family gets ridiculous after awhile. You can really tell the difference in the mirror though.
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        as somebody who is trying to finish a doctorate (trying being the keyword there) and working full time, and still trying to remain in shape- with all the added features yall stated above- it makes following a diet plan nearly impossible.

        thats why, IMO its best to learn the principles of dieting and how each component of a diet affects a desired outcome. In my case-if im lucky, i will see my child for an hour before he goes to bed and my wife maybe 3 hours...on a good day! This makes the more famous diets out there impractical for me (namely CBL, any IF variant, Anabolic Diet, Body Opus and the like). There are times where I just come home and eat what my wife has cooked because thats all we had available and its something that the boy would eat.

        What makes this worse is that the game we chose to play (or the life we chose to lead) is a full time job in itself. Unfortunately-just like everything else in life- sacrafices must be made in order to recieve a benefit.
      1. bono1132's Avatar
        bono1132 -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post
        as somebody who is trying to finish a doctorate (trying being the keyword there) and working full time, and still trying to remain in shape- with all the added features yall stated above- it makes following a diet plan nearly impossible.

        thats why, IMO its best to learn the principles of dieting and how each component of a diet affects a desired outcome. In my case-if im lucky, i will see my child for an hour before he goes to bed and my wife maybe 3 hours...on a good day! This makes the more famous diets out there impractical for me (namely CBL, any IF variant, Anabolic Diet, Body Opus and the like). There are times where I just come home and eat what my wife has cooked because thats all we had available and its something that the boy would eat.

        What makes this worse is that the game we chose to play (or the life we chose to lead) is a full time job in itself. Unfortunately-just like everything else in life- sacrafices must be made in order to recieve a benefit.
        Agreed man, it's all worth it in the end but there's times when everyone falls off the wagon, if only there were more healthy alternatives on my end of town, best we have is jimmy johns. My wife and I are to the point now we can't handle anything fried cuz we've been off the wagon so long can't handle any fast food really, on bad days just throwing some chicken on the grill is what we do now
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Originally Posted by bono1132 View Post
        Agreed man, it's all worth it in the end but there's times when everyone falls off the wagon, if only there were more healthy alternatives on my end of town, best we have is jimmy johns. My wife and I are to the point now we can't handle anything fried cuz we've been off the wagon so long can't handle any fast food really, on bad days just throwing some chicken on the grill is what we do now
        another thing thats really important for people to learn is how certain ratios of macros and even certain micros affect them individually. Some people (my self included) respond extremely well to low carb or ULC diet plans. Im fine with that since i could forgo carbs or any veggie and be perfectly happy for the rest of my life. my wife on the other hand- gets really bad stomache issues if she eats too much meat w/o something else. Other people cant grow outside of a standard 40/30/30 diet plan-while the lucky few can eat what ever they want and only lift 2-3 days and keep a body akin to zeus himself.

        thats why any kind of diet out there is crap in my opinion. there set in such a way to where you have to do A, B and then C or else it wont work and will usually fail.
      1. bono1132's Avatar
        bono1132 -
        Originally Posted by MANotaur View Post

        another thing thats really important for people to learn is how certain ratios of macros and even certain micros affect them individually. Some people (my self included) respond extremely well to low carb or ULC diet plans. Im fine with that since i could forgo carbs or any veggie and be perfectly happy for the rest of my life. my wife on the other hand- gets really bad stomache issues if she eats too much meat w/o something else. Other people cant grow outside of a standard 40/30/30 diet plan-while the lucky few can eat what ever they want and only lift 2-3 days and keep a body akin to zeus himself.

        thats why any kind of diet out there is crap in my opinion. there set in such a way to where you have to do A, B and then C or else it wont work and will usually fail.
        There's a book out called eating for your body type, a lot better perspective than any fad diet, I respond better to chicken or steak at dinner then a protein shake or greek yogurt before bed, have most of my carbs and fat before 5 helps me feel lean in the morning but that's just me and its taken years to figure that out, plus having a gas grill makes cooking so much easier, especially since its a lot less cleanup
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        Originally Posted by bono1132 View Post

        There's a book out called eating for your body type, a lot better perspective than any fad diet, I respond better to chicken or steak at dinner then a protein shake or greek yogurt before bed, have most of my carbs and fat before 5 helps me feel lean in the morning but that's just me and its taken years to figure that out, plus having a gas grill makes cooking so much easier, especially since its a lot less cleanup
        I gotta look into that bud! You got an author or isbn?
      1. bono1132's Avatar
        bono1132 -
        http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0061441848
        Ment blood type, there is body type but blood type is the one I've heard about, I've got some friends that have read through this and was really great

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