Nowadays there are countless diets to choose from – keto, paleo, occasional fasting, sirt food, vegan, and the list goes on and on. The problem with most is that if you get professional help, they either won't work or are difficult to maintain in the long run.
Fortunately, science has determined not only which diet appears to be the most suitable for weight loss, but also which is the easiest to continue for lifelong results.
A study conducted at the University of Otago and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that intermittent fasting led to most pounds and was fairly easy to follow. The Mediterranean diet, which also brought significant health benefits, appears to be the easiest diet to maintain.
For the study, 250 overweight adults were asked to choose between the Mediterranean diet, paleo or intermittent fasting as a weight loss strategy – 54 percent chose IF, 27 percent Mediterranean, and 18 percent Paleo. For those who chose IF, the 5: 2 strategy was used, in which you only eat around 500 calories on two days of the week and your normal amount on the other five days.
Everyone attended a 30-minute course on their chosen diet and was then asked to stick to the diet for one year without professional help.
The purpose of this was to see how effective the diets were in a "real" situation – i.e. one where people have no access to a scientist, nutritionist, or nutritionist.
Participants who chose IF lost an average of £ 9; Mediterranean dieters lost an average of six; and paleo averaged 4th (IF and Mediterranean diets also resulted in "significant improvements" in blood pressure, the researchers said)
Although these numbers may seem low, this could be affected by the fact that almost half of the participants dropped their chosen diet strategy before completing the 12-month study.
The largest retention rate was recorded for the Mediterranean diet, and 57 percent of those surveyed still followed the diet strategy at the end of the study. Intermittent fasting was close behind with a retention rate of 54 percent, and only 35 percent of participants stayed with Paleo.
So does that mean you should definitely try IF or Mediterranean diets? Not necessarily. Dr. Melyssa Roy, a research associate at the University of Otago Medical School and co-lead author of the study, said it only shows that there is no “right” diet and that people should follow the one that suits their lifestyle and lifestyle brings results.
"As with the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting and paleo diets can be valid approaches to healthy eating. The best diet is the one that includes healthy foods and is suitable for individuals," Roy said in a press release.