Being up to date on the latest science has never been more important than it is now. Whether you like to read up on getting that extra performance edge, or are just interested in general health and fitness, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting studies from this week.
This week, we’re looking at whether different diets affect weight loss and the effect of lockdown on people with an active lifestyle. Let’s get into it.
Does it matter which diet you’re on?
If you’re trying to lose weight, or look after your health, then you’ve probably read up on plenty of different diets. From keto to carnivore, there’s so many out there, you’re probably wondering if any of them really work better than others in the long term.
Well, this new study claims to have the answer. In short, they say it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever — all these diets are ineffective in the long term.1 That’s pretty big news for a lot of us. So, why exactly is this?
First off, they’re not saying there’s no benefit at all to these diets. The majority of diets saw an improvement in weight and other health factors within the first six months, however, by 12 months these benefits had significantly diminished.
So, how reliable is this? Well, the researchers looked at the results of 121 different randomised trials, meaning they had results from over 21,000 participants who followed a specific diet for weight loss. While there were certainly some limitations in the study, for example, you can’t account for other influencing factors in the participants’ weight loss, the results clearly showed that there was no particular diet that offered outstanding benefits in the long run.
What does this mean? Well, it suggests that an extreme diet isn’t really worth it and that just eating a balanced diet and not overeating is the best approach. In fact, the researchers have said, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes, and wholegrains and eating less sugar, salt and alcohol is pretty solid guidance.
Why you might be struggling to stay positive
Been feeling down since your outdoor time — and therefore activity levels — have been limited? According to new research carried out in China, you’re not alone.2 This study asked 369 adults in 64 cities across China about their wellbeing during the lockdown.
While you’d expect stress levels to rise throughout the population, what’s more surprising it the types of people who seemed to be affected the most. According to the results, those who were deemed as physically active seemed to be more likely to suffer from poor feelings of wellbeing compared to other less active participants.
It makes sense that those of you used to heading to the gym, or to play teams sports might be hit pretty hard by new restrictions. It’s also important to remember that this is a pretty small sample size and that there could be other environmental influences on the results. We won’t really know the impact of all this for a while yet, so don’t immediately worry if this sounds like you or your friends. The most important thing right now is to look after yourself.
What this does highlight is that just because someone isn’t ill with the virus, doesn’t mean they might not feel affected by it. The researchers hope that this will help others understand the implications of staying indoors — even though it’s very important that we do at the moment. There are plenty of people you can reach out to if these tough times are getting you down and remember we’re all in this together — here’s what some of our community are doing to stay positive.
Take home message
What did you think of this week’s research? Has a specific diet ever worked for you? If you’re feeling down, then talk to someone and look after yourself — we’ll all be back in the gym before you know it.