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Diet Trials

The BBC started a new series - Diet Trials, on Sunday 16th March, tracking the progress of people following four popular types of weight loss diet.

Diet Trials aimed to put the diets to the test in a way that was "truly scientific and truly independent". The series hoped to answer questions such as - which diets are easiest to stick with, and which build confidence in your ability to control your weight - for good. Far more important, we think, than simply looking at the number of pounds you can lose in a week or two.

A longer term view was given by Diet Trials, as it covered people following the different diets over a period of six months, and looked at how people felt as well as measuring things such as how much actual body fat was lost.

Diet Trials recruited 300 overweight people to take part in the series, and split them into five groups: one "control" group not following a diet, and the other groups doing either Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley, Dr Atkins or Slimfast.

At the end of the six month period, the average weight loss for each of the dieting groups was very similar. The DEXA body scans showed that exercise helped hold on to lean muscle and lose fat. Blood pressure amongst all dieters lowered. And for all but Dr Atkins, cholesterol levels also lowered.

The verdict: a calorie controlled diet, coupled with exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. 

There's lively discussion about the results on Diet Trials on the Weight Loss Resources message boards. Start a free trial of Weight Loss Resources to access the message boards and join the conversation.

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