Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, Zone Diet--All Poop Out...

A new study has determined that fad diets like Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and the Zone produced only modest weight-loss with limited sustainability. Ian Ayres of the Freakonomics blog has more:
A randomized control year-long study looked at the impact of four different diets (Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets) on a group of overweight and obese subjects who were looking to lose weight. The diets produced only “modest” average weight loss of about 6.4 lbs (2.3 percent of original body weight) and found no statistically significant difference in weight loss for the four different diets.

People do a pretty good job of losing weight for about half a year, and then their weight tends to drift back toward their pre-diet number. The difficulty of sustaining weight loss can be seen in this figure taken from a 2-year randomized study of the Weight Watchers program:
Now, news like this is rather redundant. Diets programs like Atkins and Weight Watchers are nothing but hype—BIG wastes of time! According to Dr. Fuhrman diets like these are doomed to fail. He explains:
All those second rate diets fail, because without addressing adequate micronutrient density, people crave more food than their body requires for good health.

In spite of the more than $110 million consumers spend every day on diets and “reducing” programs (more than $40 billion per year), Americans are the most obese people in history. To be considered obese, more than one-third of a person’s body must be made up of fat. A whopping 34 percent of all Americans are obese, and the problem is getting worse, not better.

Unfortunately, most weight-loss plans either don’t work or offer only minor, usually temporary, benefits. There are plenty of “rules and counting” diets, diet drugs, high-protein programs, canned shakes, and other fads that might enable you to lose some weight for a period of time. The problem is that you can’t stay on these programs forever.
Here’s my UNEXPERT opinion. Ditch the “diet” and change your lifestyle. Hey, it worked for me—Healthy, with a Vengeance!

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Lilly - February 28, 2008 8:48 AM

yeah, those diets are awful. I had tried Atkins, but it was too difficult for me b/c of the lack of fruit. I LOVE my fruit! I was sneaking in berries as soon as I was terrible. Made my cholesterol go up, my blood pressure went up & I ended up borderline diabetic as a result of it as well.

I'm now in the middle of Dr. Fuhrman's six week plan, and don't plan on ever going off of it! I feel so great & my blood sugar is back to normal already!! You're totally right, you just have to change your lifestyle... :)

Gerry Pugliese - February 28, 2008 9:21 AM

Hey Lilly-

Congrats! And keep up the great work. :)


LLouise - February 28, 2008 2:55 PM

Awesome, Lilly! Some of the diet plans are miserable! Jenny Craig is one I will never did that one ever take off???! Even before celebs...It's so awful. And how sustainable is it? Who could live forever on Jenny C.'s packaged food? That's not real life, and it's not conducive to health.

H=N/C Period!
Health = Nutrients/Calories

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