Success on a weight-loss diet can be predicted by measuring a person’s blood sugar and fasting insulin levels, according to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego.
Moreover, effective weight loss and control in some can be achieved without restricting calories, as long as the diet is rich in fiber.
The international study examined data from six studies of different diets designed to improve nutrition. It found that those biomarkers consistently predicted losing weight and keeping it off.
The kinds of diets that work depend on whether a patient’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, as in prediabetes, or high enough to indicate diabetes. Results were presented at the American Diabetes Association 77th Scientific Sessions.
Those with type 2 diabetes can lose weight on a diet rich in plant fats, such as those from olive and avocado oil.
A fiber-rich diet without calorie restrictions is successful for many with prediabetes, the study found. Carbohydrate and fat intake should be adjusted according to fasting insulin levels.
“Remarkably, for many patients, use of these biomarkers can lead to a six- to seven-fold greater weight loss,” study leader Arne Astrup said in a statement. He is head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
“Going forward, we can educate patients when a diet they planned to follow would actually make them gain weight, and redirect them to a strategy that we know will work for them.”
The study also included researchers from the University of Colorado, Tufts University, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBER OBN) and Gelesis, Inc.
The study fits in with other research indicating that weight loss diets need to be matched to an individual’s own metabolic profile.
And for the diets to really stick, they can’t be temporary, but part of a changed lifestyle that people can embrace without feeling deprived.