Of course, one option – and not necessarily a bad one – is to simply avoid diets altogether. The goal, as registered nutritionist Wesley McHorter recently said GQ, is to focus on what you eat, not what you limit, and ensure that the foods on your plate become healthier over time. This can create a more sustainable pattern of better nutrition.
Weiss says a study is coming out soon that sheds light on the issue of diet. In this new study, the best predictor of whether people follow a long-term weight plan is what Weiss calls “self-adherence.”
“I think it has a lot to do with how well people feel,” he said. In other words, how well people think they are doing best predicts how much weight they will lose.
Go with your gut
How individuals react to different diet plans is one of the weight loss elements that science still puzzles. In general, a study may demonstrate weight loss in a group of people. But who has lost weight and who has not, can shed more light on the effectiveness of the diet than the usual average.
Eran Elinav, an immunologist at the Weizmann Research Institute in Israel, is at the forefront of research on the subject. He is one of the co-authors of a groundbreaking paper from 201
“What he told us was that this universal diet was probably wrong. We realized that instead of measuring food and giving it a number, we should measure people instead, ”says Elinav. It sounds simple, but people’s bodies react differently to different foods. (This probably has something to do with the gut microbiome, the combination of healthy bacteria that live in the colon and help with our immune response.)
Given this, a particular diet plan that is supposed to show benefits is not exactly the right approach. In general, something like the Mediterranean diet shows benefits. At the individual level, the results are not always the same. “Trying to achieve a universal diet is like missing the point,” says Elinav. “It’s also possible that different diets show different results.”
Where the science of diet goes in the future, it is towards personalized nutrition. And this is something that many nutritionists already intuitively know that no diet will work for everyone. It is more likely to have a handful of diets instead that work for some people. The trick is to identify who these people are and then prepare more accurate dietary tests.
“I think there will be more and more well-done research,” Weiss said. “I think that’s what we’re aiming for.”