Study Finds Weight Loss Diets Don’t Work Long Term: How to Flip the Script With Evidence-Based Nutrition
Weight loss is an important, many would say, “Life-defining” goal for millions of Americans.
Even with this laser focus on healthy weight management, a large percentage of people don't meet their weight loss goals each year.
Foods that help maintain a healthy weight in both the short and long term generally don't taste as good as unhealthy foods — although there are exceptions to this rule.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an institute within the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) are overweight.
The problem affects both men and women and extends into problems with obesity for 2 in 5 (42.4%) of all adults.
That's bad news because being overweight directly correlates with serious health issues, like metabolic syndrome. The good news is that long-term improvement is possible.
Health Issues Tied to Being Overweight
Being overweight is directly correlated to several negative health conditions that can progress to something life-threatening.
Whether or not you are overweight is typically measured by your waistline.
A waistline of 40 inches or more for men is considered overweight, while 35 inches or more for women is considered the same.
For those who are overweight, the following conditions may result, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Blood sugar issues
- Diabetes or pre-diabetes
- Cholesterol problems
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
Side Effects of Weight Loss Drugs and Surgery
There are several ways to foster long-term weight management success, but not all are 100% safe.
Bariatric surgery, for example, can lead to the following side effects:
- Acid reflux
- Chronic nausea and vomiting
- Dilation of the esophagus
- The inability to eat certain foods
- Weight gain or failure to lose weight
- Low blood sugar
- Dumping syndrome, a condition that can lead to nausea and dizziness
Weight loss drugs also lead to similar problems.
For those who take them, weight loss drugs can cause nausea, constipation, and diarrhea at surprisingly high rates. Serious side effects may also occur with certain drugs.
These drugs and surgeries can also be expensive and life-altering, and often not in a good way.
New Study: Popular Weight-Loss Diets Don't Work Long-Term
Consistency is the key to long-term healthy weight management, but many Americans have lost confidence in mainstream diets.
According to a new study shared by Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, MD, a Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing and a member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School, the benefits of most well-known dietary plans often don't last.
The study, a large systematic review and meta-analysis, was published in The British Medical Journal and analyzed 121 trials that enrolled nearly 22,000 overweight or obese adults.
Adults in the study followed one of 14 popular diets, including the low-carb Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, the Mediterranean Diet, and DASH, for at least six months.
Initial results were great, but most of the weight was regained within one year.
Blood pressure and cholesterol results tended to improve modestly before returning back to where they were within one year or less.
According to Dr. Shmerling, consistency is key, and that's why those who follow the Healright Micronutrient bars weight loss and metabolic health plan stay committed longer than traditional diet plans, according to clinical research (info here).
“(Diets) may be unsuccessful over the long run for a number of reasons,” Dr. Shmerling said.
“Some people don’t follow their diets carefully and don’t lose much weight even from the start. Others may go off the diet entirely after a while because it’s too restrictive or the foods aren’t appealing.
“Some may engage in less physical activity as they consume fewer calories.
“But who hasn’t heard of someone doing everything right and still losing minimal weight or regaining lost weight over time? Perhaps that someone is you.”
Food As Medicine — A Safe (and Delicious) Alternative to Drugs
Practicing healthy eating habits can lead to long-term weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight over time.
Those who make healthy, micronutrient-rich eating a lifestyle usually keep weight off much longer than those who engage in fad diets, crash diets, or mainstream eating plans.
This approach is healthier and more sustainable than weight loss drugs or surgery, as it is side effect free and improves overall health, healthy weight, and metabolic health in both the short and long term.
Some of the healthiest foods and food ingredients to look for in any long-term weight-loss-focused routine include the following:
- Whey protein
- Vitamin-rich foods
- Dark chocolate
- Nuts and nut butter
- Fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal or oat fiber
- Foods that are rich in key minerals such as Zinc and Magnesium
These nutrients are available as part of the Healright program, which has been scientifically created, tested and crafted for long-term weight management and metabolic health.
“I really enjoy the taste of Healright. I eat them for breakfast and at 4 p.m. each day. I experience much less hunger, so I don't overeat. I have even lost six pounds,” said one Healright customer named Becky.
“I usually don't like bars...Healright is one of the best tasting bars I've had, especially for the nutrient content,” one registered dietitian said in reference to the Healright system.
“The most delicious medicine I've ever tasted,” wrote another Healright customer named Jayne Elle after enjoying the Healright system.
As we all know and have experienced first-hand, taste matters when following a diet or health routine.
Healright supports healthy metabolism, gut health, and weight loss with clinically proven nutrition and results.