Our bodies are pretty complicated machines and when it comes to losing weight, they can feel impossible to comprehend. For decades, we've been jumping into fad diets, failing and chalking it all up to a lack of willpower. But, science says that may not be the case.
If you had a friend who lost weight on the Atkin's diet (or Dukan, or 5:2, or Paleo) you may have given it a shot thinking it would work for you too. But if it didn't, it isn't your fault.
Researchers have found that our bodies are completely unique in their responses to everyday foods. Even foods that are considered healthy, like tomatoes for example, can cause blood sugar levels to spike in some. The researchers also found that some people may be more sensitive to carbohydrates. Some people experienced a blood sugar spike while eating pizza and ice cream while others did not.
The study monitored the diets of 800 people representative of the general Israeli population over the course of 46,898 meals. The subjects recorded everything they ate on a smartphone app and kept a close eye on their blood sugar levels with a portable monitor. The scientists also took note of the participants' sleep and exercise patterns.
The data was then analyzed by a computer to determine the impact of individual foods on each participant.
"Most dietary recommendations that one can think of are based on one of these grading systems; however, what people didn't highlight, or maybe they didn't fully appreciate, is that there are profound differences between individuals--in some cases, individuals have opposite responses to one another, and this is really a big hole in the literature," says Eran Segal, a computer scientist of the Weizmann Institute, Israel.
Eran Elinav, a colleague of Segal, says, "Measuring such a large cohort without any prejudice really enlightened us on how inaccurate we all were about one of the most basic concepts of our existence, which is what we eat and how we integrate nutrition into our daily life. In contrast to our current practices, tailoring diets to the individual may allow us to utilise nutrition as means of controlling elevated blood sugar levels and its associated medical conditions."
[bctt tweet="There Is No Magic Diet: How Your Body Responds Depends On Metabolism"]
Overall, eating dietary fiber was found to help reduce blood sugar levels, while lack of sleep, high salt diets, and high cholesterol levels had a negative impact on blood sugar. The authors suggested that assigning foods a glycemic index was not actually useful since it could vary greatly person to person.
So why do we have such a diverse reaction to foods? Gut bacteria. No two people have the same make up of gut bacteria. When people fail on diets, it is widely believed that it they just aren't listening to or following the 'rules' when really it might be something else. "Maybe people are actually compliant but in many cases we were giving them wrong advice," says Segal. "It's common knowledge among dietitians and doctors that their patients respond very differently to assigned diets. We can see in the data that the same general recommendations are not always helping people, and my biggest hope is that we can move this boat and steer it in a different direction."
Does this information change the way you view dieting? Do you think you can find and follow what works for you without having to adopt a specific diet plan?
Source: Daily Mail