This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Diet trial review

My friend Ingo told me about a six month diet trial that was conducted in the UK last year. The BBC televised the results and also put them on their website. The four diets were:

  • Weight watchers: A weekly group meeting helps dieters stick to a diet which limits calorie and saturated fat intake. An allowance of daily 'points' means dieters avoid the complexity of calorie counting.
  • Rosemary Conley: Weekly group meetings with an emphasis on exercise aim to keep dieters on course with a calorie controlled, low fat eating plan.
  • Dr Atkins: Unlimited protein (meat, fish, eggs, cheese) and fat (butter, oil, cream) but minimal amounts of carbohydrates (pasta, bread, rice, many vegetables, fruit, milk and yoghurt). Dr Atkins claims that his unlikely sounding diet leads the body to burn fatty tissue, leading to dramatic weight loss.
  • Slimfast: Meal replacement milk shakes, soups or pasta instead of two out of three main meals plus planned snacks daily mean that Slimfast is relatively simple to follow, involving little weighing or measuring.

Ingo summarized the results as follows:

  • Men did best on Atkins
  • Women did best on Weight Watchers
  • More women than men reached their target weight, although men lost more weight
  • There were no short term effects due to Atkins, but the doctors tracking the participants did express concern about long term impact of the diet if it was continued indefinitely

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