Paleo?? Mediterranean?? Intermittent fasting?
Often up for debate,, which of these 3 popular Diet trends gives most bang for there buck! Which are easiest to follow! Which just leave you feeling flat and deflated? We can find these answers in a paper published by the researchers at otago University in New Zealand.
250 people who were in the study were classified as being either obese or overweight. They then selected one of the above Diet approaches to try for a whole year..
To help them on there journey they were given extensive written resources, 30 minutes of face to face time with a trained researcher and and exercise program to follow, then sent on there merry way with little or no ongoing support!
The reason for this was to mimic the real world applications of somebody following these diets, the health benefits, which of them outperformed the others, how many would stick with it!
So next is the diet details..
Intermittent fasting: study participants could fast any two days of the week of there choosing, On fasting days, calorie intake was limited to 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. Their fasting-day meals could be anything they wanted, but they were advised to select foods “rich in protein and low-carbohydrate vegetables.” On non-fasting days, participants could eat whatever they wanted but were given a general recommendation to follow “a sensibly healthy diet.”
Mediterranean diet: guidelines were based upon harvards healthy eating pyramid and emphasized “high amounts of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, with moderate amounts of fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy, and red meat once per week or less.”
Modified Paleo diet: participants were instructed to emphasise fruits and vegetables, animal protien, coconut products, butter and etra virgin olive oil to avoid grains, sugar, and processed seed oils (canola, margarine). To improve adherence, however, “some full-fat dairy could be included, as well as ≤1 serving/d of legumes and grain-based foods.” (That’s why it’s dubbed a “modified” Paleo diet.)
► Intermittent fasting was by far the most popular choice, but the Mediterranean diet had the highest adherence rate.
► intermittent faster lost the most weight paleo lost the least
► Even on non-fasting days, intermittent fasters ate fewer calories than people on the other two diets.
► paleo dieters ate the least amount of ultra-processed foods . Intermittent fasters ate the least fiber and the most ultra-processed foods.
► Researchers analyzed changes in several markers of health—blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, hemoglobin A1c, among others—but only two improvements were observed.
- Systolic blood pressure decreased in the intermittent fasting (-4.9 mm) and Mediterranean diet (-5.9 mm) groups. The researchers say this is “likely to be a consequence of the weight loss.”
- Hemoglobin A1c—a two to three month “snapshot” of blood sugar—decreased slightly in the Mediterranean diet. This is described as “marginally better” than the intermittent fasting and Paleo groups
Surprisingly though the study shows that the amount lost in each group may have been different had the number of women been the same in each of the group.
Intermittent fasting had 55% women (this group lost the most weight)
Mediterranean diet had 68% of women
Paleo had 74% of women (this group lost the least amount of weight)
It begs the question that if the paleolithic group had 55% of female participants would the results be the same of as good as the intermittent fasting groups.
When asked the researchers didn’t have a big enough peer group to suggest that sex had an important role to suggest that having a larger male % could have changed upon the effects of each diet on weightloss.
What exactly can we take away from this?? Well strict diets or diets with alot of rules are harder to follow and have a lot less adherence.
Shown in the intermittent fasting group losing the most weight but having the most food choices ( keeping favorite foods a table option) also the fact that the margin for error was brought down to just 2 days a week at 500- 600 calories respectively.
Nobody wants to diet for a whole year, we live in a world of quick fixes and miracle tonics, I mean a whole year of restriction restriction restriction sounds miserable doesn’t it?
It does however show for lasting results there is no end to a diet routine, it shows a temporary diet results in a temporary fix.
It holds true that eating right 80-90% of the time right meaning whole nutritious non processed foods and allowing the 10% to allow for adherence is a much better and much more likely approach for long lasting results.
It comes down to behavior and habit.
For questions or queries please don’t hesitate to send me an email ill be more than happy to discuss anything with you