A Tale of 3 Diets and What to Expect From Them: Nilima Desai, MPH, RD

Nilima Desai, MPH, RD discusses the role of macronutrient distribution for weight loss diets in this webinar. Emphasis on protein, carbohydrates, and fat are all featured in a variety of popular diets, from the Ornish diet to the Atkins diet.

Different diets were tested in a recent cohort study of overweight and obese patients who did not have diabetes or cardiovascular disease. After two years in the study the results were as follows:

Protein intake and weight loss:

  • Weight lost after two years was similar in patients assigned to a diet with 25% protein and those consuming 15% protein

Fat intake and weight loss:

  • Weight lost after two years was the same in participants assigned to a diet with 40% fat and to a diet with 20% fat

Carbohydrate intake and weight loss:

  • No effect on weight loss with diets with intake of carbs in the target range of 25-65%

Other findings:

  • Change in waist circumference did not differ among groups
  • Most of the weight loss occurred in the first six months
  • After 12 months, all groups, on average slowly regained body weight.

In conclusion, satiety, hunger, satisfaction with diet, and attendance at group sessions were similar for all diets. Attendance at group sessions was strongly associated with weight loss. For more details on this paper, listen to the full podcast or watch the video presentation.

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