Which weight-loss diets work?
Diets can work, as long as you stick to them. Long-term success depends on changing your lifestyle and getting into healthier habits with what you eat and how active you are
Studies comparing different diets indicate that total energy content is the key variable, rather than choosing low-fat, low-carbohydrate or high-protein options. Typical long-term weight loss is a few kilos, and most people have trouble keeping up their chosen diet. Diets that advertise more drastic weight loss than this usually involve losing water, which is soon replaced. It is easier to avoid gaining weight than to lose it again. Increased body fat often alters metabolism, and appetite, in ways that tend to maintain the new weight. Overweight people may even have a keener sense of smell for food.Lead image:
Tanvir Alam/Flickr CC BY
- Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates (2009)
- WebMD: Lose weight fast – how to do it safely