Do Diets Really Work? | Dr Geoff Barnett | Weight Loss Surgery
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Do Diets Really Work?

Posted on: December 1st, 2016
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Dieting and diets! We hear about them all the time.  Everyone wants to lose weight these days. And modern eating habits enable us to readily pack on the extra kilos – especially over the holiday period. There are literally hundreds of thousands of different eating plans out there. These range from the good, the bad to completely wacky!

It seems everyone is desperate to find a solution to combat their weight gain and reduce their excess body fat. So desperate that they’ll try nearly anything no matter how bizarre the diet plan. But before you jump on the latest dieting trend, you should review whether diets really work.

Diets of the Past

Perhaps you have been on the planet long enough to remember some popular diets of the past? Popular diets from our 20s, 30s and 40s, include:

Some of these dieting plans use science and very restrictive types of food combinations in order to accelerate weight loss.

Others are simply fad diets that encourage crash dieting or super-fast approaches to weight loss by severely restricting intake. You can lose weight on these restrictive diets, but it’s often hard to maintain the weight loss over time. And some “Yo Yo dieters” find extreme eating restrictions mean they gain more weight over time.

Severely restrictive eating plans or ‘crash diets’ often result in massive gains. These ultimately dwarf the weight losses that occur whilst you’re on the initial plan.

It is usually better to change your lifestyle rather than to go radical on a diet plan. However, some people may feel they need an extreme eating regime to kick start their weight loss goals.

Do Diets Really Work?

What is the success rates of popular diets? Research reveals that 2 -5% of people who start a diet will keep the weight off. There is also data which supports the medium to long success of diets that instil a new approach to eating.

Sensible but healthier eating as a lifestyle, not a diet plan, instils a nutritional shift in the consumption of calories. This can help you maintain longer-term weight loss that might allow you to sustain your healthier weight and BMI. It can also help you benefit from the health benefits that come with more nutritional eating.

Eating well doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally indulge in your favourite treats. But daily habits are much healthier when they are sustained over time, rather than short bursts of severe diet restriction. This means avoiding junk foods, processed foods, sugars, and entire food groups such as avoiding carbohydrates.

Some diets may be effective for short term weight loss. As a result, some people consider these before a big event such as a wedding or holiday. It’s important to get a physical before dieting and speak with your nutritionist and GP. However, as some diets are potentially damaging to the organs, (e.g., eating too much protein can tax your organs).

The most successful diets involve retraining your brain, and your taste buds, and helping you understand your body better. With a sensible plan and realistic proportions. You’ll learn what works for your body and how to cater to your own health and nutritional needs. It does pay to get professional nutritional coaching, however, by a qualified nutritionist or an informed GP or bariatric surgeon.

Which Diets Really Work?

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What makes a diet a good diet is often linked with four things:

  • Is it easy to follow?
  • How does it work over the short term?
  • Can it be maintained over time?
  • Does it work with health conditions (chronic illnesses or acute health issues)?

The U.S. News Ranking evaluated 38 of the top popular diets according to various criteria, including the factors above. The assessment found the following popular diets to be the best according to the above categories.

Weight Watchers Diet

Known the world over – and one of the longest-known diet plans out there – is the Weight Watchers system. The evolving yet proven weight loss system assigns “points” to all foods. You have a ration, so to speak. Those groups having a higher sugar, fat and calorific get a higher points value. Other foods are more nutrient rich, lower in fat and calories. While this gives you flexibility, you have to learn to choose what you want and what you’ll sacrifice.

The idea with Weight Watchers diets and eating plans is minimising the volume of high point foods. It also encourages you to increase foods with low or no points to achieve nutritional and caloric balance.

No food is off limits. Instead, it is all about balance and peer group support. A motivational speaker at each event, regular weigh-ins, and progress celebrations helps with accountability. They have clubs all over Australia. Personal diet consultants also offer motivation and guidance while you are on their plan. It is a bit costly to participate, but you can save money on some foods.

Scores for Weight Watchers Diet

  • Short-term weight loss: 4/5
  • Long-term weight loss: 3.5/5
  • Easy to follow: 3.7/5
  • Health benefits/health rating: 4.3/5

Overall rating for the Weight Watchers diet plan: 3.9/5

The HMR Diet – Health Management Resources Diet

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The Health Management Resources Diet or HMR for short, is a calorie controlled plan. It combines meal replacement shakes with fruit, vegetables, health improvement strategies and light to moderate exercise. It markets itself as a lifestyle change rather than diet, and seeks to help instil real and permanent dietary changes.

Scores for the HMR Diet Plan

  • Short-term weight loss: 4.1/5
  • Long-term weight loss: 3.0/5
  • Easy to follow: 2.9/5
  • Health benefits/health rating: 3.4/5

Overall rating of the HMR diet plan: 3.2/5

The Biggest Loser Diet

Named after the smash-hit T.V. series, the Biggest Loser Diet, is a 6-week plan. It works to boost weight loss while targeting disease prevention and reversing the harmful effects of obesity-related conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of cancer
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

It also helps improve cardiac health and your immune system.

The emphasis is on regular means that are rich in fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Followers are encouraged to eat mindfully, keep a food journal, exercise and practice all-important portion control. This was ranked as the number one fast weight-loss diet in the U.S. News rankings.

Scores for the Biggest Loser Diet

  • Short-term weight loss: 4.1/5
  • Long-term weight loss: 2.9/5
  • Easy to follow: 2.9/5
  • Health benefits/health rating: 3.9/5

Overall rating of the Biggest Loser TV Show Diet: 3.6/5

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Jenny Craig Diet

The Jenny Craig Diet emphasises the aim of consistent weight loss of about 1 to 2 kilos per week. After this, the focus is on maintenance eating programs.

The Jenny Craig diet itself is simple. The key to this eating regime is to restrict calories, as well as fat – and eating reduced portions.

Pre-packaged meals, recipes and personal consultants help members reach goals more readily. As a result, it is easy to follow if you buy off their plan. They are also available to help you monitor your weight loss success. Jenny Craig offers frequent one-one contact to help keep you on track.

Scores for the Jenny Craig Diet plan

  • Short-term weight loss: 4.1/5
  • Long-term weight loss: 2.9/5
  • Easy to follow: 2.9/5
  • Health: 3.9/5

Overall rating of the Jenny Craig Diet: 3.6/5

Seeking Medical Advice

Seek medical advice before embarking on major lifestyle changes. It is also crucial if you have severe health problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart or lung conditions
  • Kidney or liver disease

Do you want to reshape your body to remove excess skin and fat after significant weight change? Some fat and redundant skin cannot be exercised away. As a result, it must be surgically addressed to get back to normal looking body contours. This is especially true if your skin was overly stretched due to extreme weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy. Dr Barnett offers tummy tuck, liposuction, breast reduction, and arm reduction procedures for post weight loss.

To learn more about whether do diets really work or for further information on our procedures, please complete a confidential enquiry form below. Or you can speak to one of our Patient Care Advisors on (03) 8849 1444.