Following a low-fat, low-calorie, and low-carbohydrate diet that your doctor gave you is just as effective in reducing your weight as any of the most popular diets that you pay for. Dr. Mark J. Eisenberg, Professor of Medicine at Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is the first to make a head-to-head comparison of the weight loss a person can expect from the most popular diets.
Eisenberg and colleagues examined all the studies available that compared the weight loss and cardiovascular improvement provided by the top four most popular weight loss plans. Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and Zone, were compared with each other and with a diet that would be prescribed by a doctor. No diet program was any more effective in weight loss at two years than any other diet program. A low-fat diet and exercise were found to be just as effective as any diet plan that people pay for.
People that used Weight Watchers lost between 7.7 pounds and 13.2 pounds after one year. The Atkins diet produced a weight loss between 4.6 pounds and 10.3 pounds after a year. Zone dieters lost between 3.5 pounds and seven pounds in the first year. People that followed a simple diet from their doctor lost between 4.85 pounds and 11.9 pounds. No additional cardiovascular benefits were obtained from any plan diet.
Regardless of the diet program a person followed, the majority of dieters regained every pound they lost by the end of the second year of dieting. This result explains in part why almost 70 percent of the adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. The researchers prescribe a more physician based intervention as a cure for the obesity epidemic in the United States.