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Personalising diet for maximum weight loss, study

Posted:  Friday, January 23, 2015

Planning to go on a particular diet to lose the post-festive weight? Just pause a moment as a generalised diet may not help you achieve your weight loss goals. A new study has found that a personalised diet, tailored to meet an individual’s weight loss needs, is the best diet one can follow for good results.

As part of the study, researchers from Oxford and Cambridge enrolled 75 dieters and put them through a series of tests and monitored them at home. They looked at 3 types of overeaters, the reasons for their overeating, and suggested a diet that could help them overcome this problem. The dieters were challenged to lose 5% of their body mass. The details of the study are described below:

1. The first group of overeaters comprised the feasters who find it difficult to stop eating. Research has shown that this group lacks certain gut hormones that signal satiety. The feasters were put on a high protein, low glycaemic index (GI) diet for promoting satiety. The diet included fish, chicken, wholegrains, lentils, legumes and cereals.

2. The second group of overeaters comprised the constant cravers who feel hungry all the time and end up snacking on high fat and sugar foods. The researchers believe the root of this problem lies in their genes. Certain genes disrupt the signalling to the brain, tricking it into thinking that the fat cells need constant replenishment. The researchers advised this group a reduced calorie diet (800 calories) for 2 days; during the next 5 days of the week, they were told to eat normal healthy food.

3. The third group of overeaters are the emotional eaters who reach out for food whenever they feel anxious or stressed. Their constant need for reward propels them to eat high calorie foods during stressful situations. These individuals were advised cognitive behavioural therapy. They were also encouraged to be part of online support and motivational groups to help them adhere to their diet plan.

The participants reduced 8% of their body mass by following the recommended plans; the highest loss was observed among the feasters. The researchers additionally found that eating slowly, eating breakfast every day, consuming thick soups, and staying active could help dieters shed excess weight. So the next time you are planning to diet, personalising it according to your eating behaviour and body type could help tremendously.

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