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Eat Like A Caveman? Winner Of The Diet Wars

The Paleo diet is the “winner” for the most body weight lost over 21 days, as part of a Sky News experiment that saw four people embark on four competing, medically supervised diets.


The Paleo, or “caveman” diet, saw Philip Wark, 38, lose the most: 1st  1.4lb

However, there are caveats.

The Paleo also saw the least amount of body fat lost, just 1.2 %, and experts say that is much more important to reduce.

“Often with crash dieting we just see people lose water weight and maybe muscle mass”, said dietician Rick Miller.


Video:
Philip’s Weight Loss Journey

“But body fat is exactly what we want people to lose, it reduces health risks.”

Interestingly the 5:2, or “fast” diet, had the exact opposite result.

Safira Ali, 32, lost the least amount of body weight (5lb), out of the four diets, but lost the highest percentage of body fat (8.3 %).

In the middle, in the dietician’s opinion, were the “real” winning diets: the “vegetarian” eating plan, and the “diabetic” one: more moderate, less dramatic.

Hywel Roberts, 33, followed the “vegetarian” plan and lost 11lb in weight, and 2.9 % in body fat.


Video:
Safira’s Weight Loss Journey

Michelle Okpocha, 47, followed the “diabetic” diet and lost 6lb in weight and 3.7 % body fat.

Mr Miller says these two diets demanded the least change and therefore were more likely to be successful long term.

“Both Hywel and Michelle diets were equally tied for best diet due to the balance of weight and fat loss they had (both similar) and likelihood of sustainability of their diets,” he said.

“They both had no problems sticking to their diets from the outset and didn’t dramatically alter their food intake.

“Nothing was excluded and their foods were just moderated to help them reach their goals.”


Video:
Hywel’s Weight Loss Journey

“Both Safira and Philip’s diets are unlikely to be maintained without significant support and they did struggle to stay on track at times.”

Of course, each person following their specific diet is different and there are many factors which can influence the result.

For example, all the dieters did increase their exercise levels, however, to a greater or lesser extent.

Safira and Philip had the largest increase in physical activity levels: with Philip running three times a week, and Safira walking over 10,000 steps per day.

In conclusion, the figures speak for themselves but the expert opinion is that “crash” diets are not the answer.


Video:
Michelle’s Weight Loss Journey

Mr Miller said: “I think most popular diets are generally a fad.

“Often they’re stripping out food groups entirely so they may take out diary products or starchy food and that can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies long term.”

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