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Don't Rely on Diet to Prevent Weight Regain
Date:11/7/2008

In study, people put lost pounds back on regardless of the amount of fat they ate

FRIDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- If you've just lost weight and are trying to keep it off, don't rely on diet alone to keep those unwanted pounds at bay. It may not be enough, no matter what kind of "maintenance" diet you follow, researchers say.

A team from Denmark found that people following three very different diets regained weight, anyway.

So to avoid regaining weight, "the best plan is to stick to a diet that works for you -- in combination with exercise," said study co-author Anette Due, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen.

The researchers followed 125 men and women, ages 18 to 35, who had lost more than 8 percent of their initial body weight and were trying to keep it off. They assigned them randomly to follow one of three diets.

One diet provided a moderate amount of fat, about 35 percent to 45 percent of total intake, with more than 20 percent of it from monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Another diet was 20 percent to 30 percent fat, with no specifics on types of fat. And those on the "control" diet took in 35 percent of calories as fat.

All groups as a whole regained during the six-month follow-up, with the moderate-fat dieters regaining about 5.5 pounds, the low-fat (20 percent to 30 percent) regaining 4.8 pounds, and the control group, 8.3 pounds.

The study results are published in the November issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers also looked at changes in risk factors for diabetes and heart disease such as blood sugar levels, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. The diet that allowed 35 percent to 45 percent of total intake as fat, with most of it olive oil-type fat, seemed to improve glucose compared to a normal Western diet, said Due.

The study received funding from a variety of sources, including The Danish Heart
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