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!! What Makes A Diet Successful !!

Ajay Singh Tomar
Ajay Singh Tomar
Most of us at some point in time or even right now, have tried or trying to lose weight. But so many of us have failed to do so due to many reasons like not having the necessary knowledge, choosing unsustainable dieting strategies, losing motivation etc etc.

But even after having the best plans and guidance many people fail. There is something that is very basic and foundation to any plan you are going to be following. Everyone knows it is very important but somehow we do not seem to acknowledge it and somewhat brush it aside.

That is "Sticking to your diet" aka "Adherence".

Adherence is such an important factor to any weight loss intervention that it does not matter if you have the best coach, best diet and training plans. They will be of little or no use if we cannot simply stick to the plans that we are assigned. And this is something which stays for many people as "Its important i know, But still somehow i am not able to adhere to my plans". Its a problem !! , a complex one where many factors can affect the outcome.

So how do we address this problem. Lets look at a meta analysis from Lemstra et el 2016. In this review the researchers did a systematic literature review and meta analysis of all the studies published on adherence in weight loss interventions between Jan2004 - Aug2015. Although more research is needed on this topic, but this review gives us a few pointers to consider.

The following factors were identified to impact Adherence.

1. Supervised weight loss attempts tend to have about 65% higher adherence than unsupervised attempts.

2. Interventions with a social support component tend to have about 29% higher adherence than interventions without a social support.

3. Dietary interventions only, tend to have about 27% higher adherence than exercise only interventions: As the authors interpreted, this can be due to a number of reasons. First, in cases where diet adherence was captured via self-report, poor recall or false information could be a possibility. Secondly, it could be in part due to participants seeing more weight loss from restrictive diets, than from exercise interventions. So dietary and exercise programming needs to be combined in order to be most effective.

Takeaways :

1. If you are not sure of what to do, taking help and doing it under someone's guidance can increase your chances to be successful. Over the time once you learn the basics, you can go on your own.

2. The right kind of social environment will increase your chances. For eg our own Fittr(Squats) community does this on a daily basis. Surrounding yourself with like minded people who understands and appreciates the efforts that you are putting in and encourage you. This helps to keep you on track and increase your chances to succeed.

3. As the popular saying goes "You cannot out train a bad diet". Hence a combination of both dietary and exercise programming needs to be followed to be most effective.

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