There’s no magic bullet diet

Even the much touted keto doesn’t work for everyone. As Neil Swidey writes in the Boston Globe:

In the low-carb group, some participants lost 40 to 60 pounds while others gained 10 to 20. And in the low-fat group? Just about the same wide variation. Neither diet was better, and researchers had no success in predicting who would do better on one versus the other.

All of this suggests that your co-worker who won’t stop yapping about how keto will change your life might be completely right. Or he could be entirely wrong.

This much we know: No diet will work for everyone.

Diet advice changes by the minute. How are we supposed to figure out what to eat? – Neil Swidey, Boston Globe Magazine

The few things that do seem to work for everyone are to reduce or eliminate added sugar, reduce processed and refined carbs, and eat healthy fats. Everything else seems to be a toss up and depends on personal metabolic traits.

Trial and error will probably be necessary, but by avoiding processed foods (itself a vague term — do bread or pasta count, if we’re being careful to make sure they’re made from whole grains?) you’ll probably be off to a decent start.

3 thoughts on “There’s no magic bullet diet

  1. I’ve been on an “only eat when I’m hungry” diet, and I’ve been losing weight slowly. (Slow is good!) I’ve long known I was a boredom eater, but somehow this framing is what I needed to finally cut down on it. Bonus: When I’m hungry, I’m less likely to reach for junk food.

    I don’t trust food science much either. :-/

    1. That’s probably one of the best ways to go about it. I did a lot of experimenting with different “diets” around 18 months ago, mostly with good success. I’ve since gained back a lot of the weight I lost because I haven’t been paying as close attention to what I eat or, perhaps more importantly, the signals my body sends to indicate that I’m satiated. Recognizing satiety before I was overly full was one of the biggest things the dieting helped me with. That’s probably at least as important — if not more important — than the types of food we eat.

    2. And, yeah, I’m skeptical of a lot of food/nutrition science, as well. Partly for the reasons listed in the article, but also because a lot of it seems to be funded by the food industry which, unsurprisingly, has it’s own interests at heart (e.g., there’s reason to believe the demonization of fat was done, in part, to draw attention away from the dangers of refined sugar).

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