Volume 1, Issue 3
September 25, 2008
What's the best way
to lose weight?
Let's say you are one of the more than 50% of Americans who are overweight. And let's say that you already know that being overweight is a bad idea.ÿ It's one of the best ways to make sure you die earlier, and suffer more doing it.
So let's say that you have finally decided to lose that weight once and for all. After all, if you are like the majority of Americans who are overweight, you have already lost and regained the same weight over and over again. But this time it's going to be different. This time the National Institute of Health (NIH) has made it easy for you. They compared the four major weight loss programs to see which one worked the best.
Researchers at Stanford University Medical School assigned 311 overweight women to follow one of four diets: The Atkins diet (very low in carbohydrate), The Zone diet (moderately low in carbohydrate), The Ornish diet (high in carbohydrate), and the LEARN diet (high in carbohydrate, low in fat, based on national guidelines). The women followed the various diets for one year.
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The winner? The Atkins diet. Women on the Atkins diet lost about twice as much weight as those on the other diets.
"Well what about their cholesterol levels?" you might ask. "I bet they went sky high on that diet because it's so high in fat and protein." Actually, the reverse happened. The lead author said that blood-fat levels were lower on the Atkins diet than on any of the other diets.
So is the Atkins diet the best way to lose weight?ÿ Well, yes, and no.
When you break down the data, you find that results were different for different people. Although on average the Atkins diet was the most effective, some people actually lost more weight on the other diet programs.
The bottom line is this: For the average person, the best way to lose weight, and to avoid regaining it, is to cut back on carbohydrates. This may very well mean cutting way back — forever!ÿ But for other people with different genetic make ups, it may be better to use a more moderate reduction in carbohydrates. It all has to do with whether or not a person has "fast oxidizer" or "slow oxidizer" genetics.
I'll explain all about how to determine the right diet for permanent weight control, and how to find out whether you are a fast or slow oxidizer in a future issue of Real Cures. Until then, here's a clue. You know those skinny people who can eat all day and never gain a pound? They're the fast oxidizer type. Knowing where you are on the fast-slow oxidizer spectrum makes it a lot easier to know how you should be eating for the best possible weight control.
Your for Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
REF: Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. "Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women" Journal of the American Medical Association, 7 March 2007, Volume 297, Pages 969-977.
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