As we all know, weight control is a BIG problem in the United States. More than two thirds of Americans are overweight, and nearly forty percent are obese. But it isn’t just the US, most western and affluent countries are struggling with weight problems.
Dieting has become a global obsession, but sadly very few people are having long term success with the diets they try.
Yet the latest research shows that there is a solution that is easy to follow and effective, and what is amazing is the food you eat can be delicious and easy-to-prepare.
In published research, Dr. Joseph G. Mancini and his colleagues evaluated five randomized weight loss trials involving more than 1,000 patients on different weight-loss regimens (low-fat, low-carb, Mediterranean diet, etc.) who were followed for over 12 months.
There are hundreds of short-term studies published, but this 12-months-plus follow-up time is especially impressive because it means that researchers were able to track whether a diet delivered long-term weight-loss results—the true marker of success.
Unfortunately, we’re often swayed and distracted by headlines and hype from short-term studies of trendy diets that show weight loss over 4-6-12 weeks, but as you likely know, all that weight loss bounces back, adding an extra 5 pounds in the end.
What is even more deceiving are weight loss books touting, “Lose up to 10 pounds in 10 days.” The reality is that you can only lose at most 1-2 pounds of fat per week. Any additional weight you lose means you are losing water, or far worse, you might be losing muscle mass (an essential aspect of health and vitality).
According to these multiple clinical studies, a Mediterranean diet was equally effective for weight-loss as was a low-carb eating plan (such as Paleo), and more effective than a standard low-fat eating plan. Plus: when comparing to a low-fat or low-carb diet, followers of a Mediterranean diet showed more improvement in cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure control than any other diet plan.
What was equally important was long term compliance. People following a low-fat or low-carb eating plan tended to abandon their diet either immediately or after the initial 4-6-12 weeks, while those following the Mediterranean eating plan had the highest long term adherence.
Over a year follow up, the average long-term weight loss among Mediterranean diet followers ranged from 10-22 pounds—and the weight stayed off throughout the 12-month follow-up period.
Even for people with type 2 diabetes, the Mediterranean diet turns out to be the best path for weight-loss. In a different meta-analysis of nine randomized dietary trials with over 1,000 patients, researchers concluded that when a Mediterranean diet was compared to the American Diabetic Association diet, a low-fat diet, or a low-carb diet, once again the Mediterranean diet showed superior results for blood sugar control, weight-loss, and lipid profile changes.
The idea that you could lose 10-22 pounds (and keep the weight off), improve your blood sugar and cholesterol profile, and lower systemic inflammation, all while enjoying delicious Mediterranean food, sounds almost too good to be true.
But…it is true!
There is more good news. Not only is the Mediterranean diet the most effective and easiest to follow for weight control, but it is also the best diet to prevent heart disease and memory loss. Those multiple benefits are why in 2020 The US News and World Report ranks the Mediterranean diet consistently as the #1 best overall diet on the planet, a fact borne out by extensive research. They also ranked it as the #1 diet for health, best for plant based diet, best diet for diabetes, and the #1 easiest diet to follow.
I am delighted to announce that my newest book, The Mediterranean Method—Your Complete Plan to Harness the Power of the Healthiest Diet on the Planet, Lose Weight, Prevent Heart Disease and More, published December 31, 2019 by Harmony Books.
In this new book, I show you how easy it is to follow a Mediterranean diet, and how to enjoy delicious food at the same time. Plus, I will share 50 recipes that I created while sailing across the Mediterranean Sea.
To order your book now, CLICK HERE.
As a bonus for buying the book, I am offering my free Video Cooking Classes, so be sure to go here.
I wish you the best of health!
Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS