Researchers Say Fad Diets Don’t Work

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Researchers Say Fad Diets Don’t Work

A new study shows that diets focused on gimmicks like no-carbs or high-protein or all grapefruit, all the time don’t actually work any better than a plain old diet. In other words, to lose weight, it doesn’t matter what kind of calories you eat – it only matters that you take in fewer calories.

But don’t take our word for it, diet plan fans – it’s all right there in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A research effort led by Harvard School of Public Health studied more than 800 overweight men and women who were assigned to follow one of four commercial diet plans. Each of the diets emphasized a particular food group – such as fat, protein, or carbs – and all contained healthy fats, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Regardless of the plan they were on, the participants cut 750 calories a day from their regular intake, and they also put in plenty of gym time, exercising for 90 minutes each week. And, each participant kept a food diary throughout the study.

When all was said and done, the most effective diet for reducing weight and waist size was… none of the above. No matter what food group the diet was focused on, participants lost more or less the same amount of weight between all four groups. The conclusion, researchers say, is that it doesn’t matter how you cut calories, just that you end up burning more than you take in.

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