Best diet? One you can stay on

February 25, 2009 3:20:20 PM PST
For years, people have tried diet after diet, debating which one works best. Now, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine is weighing in on what works.The most common diets to lose weight differ in the kinds of foods they emphasize. There are diets like Atkins, which emphasizes proteins, while others concentrate on low fat or high carbs. Nutrition researchers at Harvard compared diets with different compositions of fat, porteins and carbs and discovered a surprising answer to the question about what diet works.

If you want to lose some pounds, some say a you should go for the veggies, or that a high carb diet will do it.

Researchers say that's not the only way to drop weight. Some say a high protein diet can help you take off the pounds. Other experts say that cutting out creams, oils and butter is the way to go. In other words, you should choose a low-fat diet.

There are many points of view.

The report chronicles the dieting results of 800 overweight adults. Each of the subjects was assigned to one of the four diets. The diets had different percentages of fat of protein and of cabohydates. They ranged from low-fat, low-protein to high-fat, high-protein.

What study after study has shown is that no one diet is better than any other diet. You have to choose a diet that can work for you and work for what you like to eat, and also work for your lifestyle.

In the end, researchers concluded that any and all of the diets work if people stick to them.

Weight loss specialist Dr. Jonathan Waitman says he's not surprised that the study showed that sticking to a diet was what made its success, not the percentage of carbs or fats.

"These diets are not particulary drastic," he said. "And I actually like that in recommending to patients, something that they can stick with for the long term."

The average weight loss for those participating in the study was 9 pounds over two years. This produced a 10 percent reduction in cholesterol and a 10 percent increase in good cholesterol. It also led to a decrease in the blood levels of insulin, which makes one less susceptible to diabetes. There are many benefits that can come from just a 10 pound weight loss. Doctors recommend aiming for 5 to 10 percent weight loss and choosing a a diet you can stick with for years.