Research: Commercial weight-loss programs are ineffective for meaningful weight loss

Most dieters fail to achieve meaningful weight loss on commercial programs

You have seen the ads for Nutrisystems with multiple stars claiming to lose the weight with their packages meals with minimal to no effort.  Despite popular belief, most of the commercial weight loss programs are somewhat less effective than the ads will make you believe.  The actors are paid for their endorsement and attempt to use the products, and I suspect even Dan Marino achieved weight loss with additional help that just the products he is peddling.


Research: Alcohol increases the intake of junk food.

Drinking alcohol increases grazing for junk food.  

We have all had a night of debauchery in our youth where we spent the night out with friends hopping from bar to bar followed by a less than a healthy meal.  Anecdotally, we know that drinking increase poor food choices.  It just makes sense that sense that alcohol, which suppresses frontal lobe inhibition, would increase eating less healthy food choices and more yummy but unhealthy calorie-dense junk food.  We suspect this is true based on experience, but today we have research proof.    


Research: Reducing carbohydrates can help you maintain weight

Is eating fewer carbohydrates the solution in your quest to lose weight?

A low-carbohydrate or low-carb diet is a dietary plan that restricts carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are found in food such as bread, cereals, grains, pasta, potatoes, and rice.  A low carbo is higher in protein and fat.  There are several different types of low-carb diets.  Some replace the carbohydrates with fat and others primarily replace it with protein.   


Research: Walnut supplementation assists weight loss.

Walnuts may help you lose weight and make better food choices.  

Gaining weight is complicated, but it is not less complicated than losing it.  Weight gain is a consequence of total energy intake.  It is an imbalance between what we eat and burn during our lives.  If we burn more, we lose weight, and if we burn too little, we gain weight.  It is simple in concept yet complex in reality.  At the population level, consuming foods, such as nuts, would appear to be inversely associated with increasing weight because they are very dense in calories.  The reasons for the difference are unclear, but they could be examined in the context of dietary advice for weight loss.


Research: Do smart scales work for weight loss?

Smart scales can help improve weight loss.  

I have long been told that frequent weighing is not helpful for weight loss.  I have written several articles on scales, but to this date, I have not found one on the use of smart scales.  Prior studies have shown that frequent trips to the scale can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent weight gain.  I also wrote an article on the myth that self-weighing too often can cause diet failure.  Frequent self-weighing is a low-intensity strategy that can easily be molded into your daily schedule and has been shown prior research to be associated with improved weight loss and weight maintenance in adults.


Research: What makes a difference in weight loss?

Self-monitoring is can make a difference in weight loss success

Weight-loss should focus on building behaviors that will not only result in weight loss but also lead to life-long change that will prevent weight regain.  In the past, changes such as calorie counting, carb counting, physical activity, and daily self-weighing have been suggested.   These self-monitoring techniques should result in weight loss and prevent regain but the research on the effectiveness of the self-monitoring techniques is very limited.


Research: Economic incentives to increase weight loss

Economic incentives may increase weight loss.

Obesity and obesity-related illness are at near epidemic levels in the United States and other parts of the World.   The prevalence of overweight and obesity patients has more than doubled in the past three decades, leading to rising costs to treat a non-communicable disease associated with treated the illnesses associated with being overweight.  


Research: Does protein quality reduce energy intake during a weight loss diet plan?

Protein quality can affect your energy intake.  

Today, many nutritional experts are recommending a return to eating foods that are less processed.  Processed food reduces the nutritional quality of the food by removing parts of the nutrients such as vitamins and minerals or the nondigestible fiber.  The act of processing the foods makes them more palatable but reduced the quality by removing some of the most important parts. Many of these new experts are missing an important part of the recommendation and that is to just increase the quality of the food you eat.  


Research: Buckwheat may promote satiety

Buckwheat combined with satiety increases satiety.

Nearly every dieter is looking for that magic gun that will reduce their dietary intake and promote weight loss.  Researchers have long pointed to a diet rich in whole grains as a potential panacea toward weight loss and maintenance.  Whole grains have been linked to multiple beneficial health outcomes, including cardiovascular health, weight loss, and a decreased risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. While wheat is considered a dominant grain crop in Canada and the United States, other minor crops, including gluten-free buckwheat, become popular alternatives to wheat products such as couscous.  Many of the other grains are considered to be healthier alternatives to wheat because of the higher fiber and lower gluten content.  You can quickly figure out why Buckwheat might be superior to wheat for weight control.


Research: Soy protein also increases satiety

Soy protein induces satiety similar to animal sources.  

There are many studies that show that a plant-based diet can help you live longer and healthier.  Plant-based protein tends to be higher in carbohydrates and fiber.  Plant-based protein also tends to be of lower quality unless you acquire it from multiple sources.  These statements may lead medical providers to recommend that patients not partake in a weight loss program while dieting because every calorie counts and there is some evidence to indicate that it will take more to get the total amino acid requirements to meet your nutritional needs.  More food will lead to more calories, and this would be more difficult to lose weight.  If you stick to a lower calorie count, it might be fair to assume that you might have less satiety.  


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