Many people believe that if they choose a diet that allows some of the food they prefer it will help them lose weight. A recent study has found that this is not true, and that in some cases choosing your diet type might actually hinder weight loss.
The researchers tested this theory at the Veterans Affairs medical center in North Carolina.
Some of the patients that suffered from obesity were given a choice of what diet to follow, while a batch of other patients in the same clinic suffering from the same weight problems were assigned a diet by the clinical staff.
The study found that the patient who had been assigned a diet, had lost more weight than the ones who choose theirs.
The two groups consisted of a total of 207 participants. While 105 were part of the batch that was allowed to choose a dietary plan, 102 were assigned to the assigned diet group.
All of the participants, received information and help consistent with clinical dietary procedures. Verbal information on the required practices, planning, and guides were given by a dietician to both groups.
In addition each group received counseling sessions and literature including pocket guides on how to count calories, fat content and carbohydrates. They were also advised on performing moderate exercises and setting targets for physical activity.
Neither waist line circumference nor BMI were significantly different between the two groups after the diet period ended.
However the group that was assigned the diet automatically lost about 14.7 pounds per patient (or 6.2 percent of body weight) in average. In contrast in the group that was allowed to choose their diet plans, had an average weight loss was 12.6 pounds (or 6.2 percent of body weight).
The study concluded that in the case of the patients studied , choosing your own diet does not increase the chances of weight loss, and in fact might decrease it.
This result could be explained by several theories. One of them is that many patients tend to trust the diet more and adhere to it better if it was chosen by a specialist.
While you can have doubts if the diet you chose is the right one for you, and if it will work, this is less likely to happen if you consider that a specialist “tailored” it to your needs.
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