Those looking to shed pounds or lose weight probably shouldn’t select their own diet plans, according to the findings of a new study.
The study, which was conducted at the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina, found that dieters who chose their own plan lost less weight than those who were assigned a diet plan.
Researchers behind the study were surprised by their findings as they had predicted an opposite outcome, one which would have been in line with the recommendations of experts, as Reuters reports that many experts recommend choosing diet plans based on their apparent appeal.
Dr. William S. Yancy Jr., the study’s lead author and an internist at Durham VA Medical Center, was quoted by Reuters as having iterated the study’s contradicting findings as he indicated the study’s findings to be “counterintuitive to what a lot of people think.”
It definitely is counterintuitive to what a lot of people think
The researchers divided roughly 200 obese adults into two groups at random. Roughly one quarter of whom were women.
While one group was allowed to choose their preferred diet plan between available options, a low-carb or low-fat plan, the other group was randomly assigned one of the diets regardless of their preference.
Those who chose their own plan lost about 12.5 pounds, while those who were assigned a plan at random lost about 15 pounds.
Dr. William Yancy told The Huffington Post that he and his colleagues “were surprised that people in the choice groups didn’t lose ore weight” in light of the presumption “that given them the choice would help them stick to the better diet,” subsequently leading to increased weight loss. But that simply was not the case.
We were surprised that people in the choice groups didn’t lose more weight (…) The presumption was that giving them the choice would help them stick to the diet better, therefore they’d lose more weight.
An unrelated study has found only two weight loss programs out of 11 tested to show positive results and yet another unrelated study’s findings suggest that the Mediterranean diet may improve brain function and prevent dementia.