New Research Demonstrating "Sustainable" Weight Loss

Elevate Your Salad Game with Caesar Pasta Salad


Nutrition is a science based practice and depends on thousands of studies to help determine the best evidence based recommendations. Every year, new research studies and articles are churned out to keep us up to date of the best health practices. However, even research studies and articles, which are supposed to be the most unbiased and evidence based method, have their flaws. They can contain misleading evidence and, yes, even be influenced by diet culture.


A recent study came out from Stanford about sustainable weight loss and the biomarkers that determine whether or not someone will be successful at losing weight. You might think this doesn’t sound too bad, it sounds pretty reputable. Don’t let the sciency words and prestige of the researcher fool you. In this article we will break down this study and discuss points the researchers failed to consider when it comes to an anti-diet, intuitive eating approach (which, by the way, is supported by boatloads of research and evidence. Not just one article 🙂)


Stanford Study Reveals Secrets to Sustainable Weight Loss

A recent study conducted by Stanford Medicine researchers has identified specific biomarkers that can ‘predict’ an individual’s ability to lose weight and maintain weight loss long-term. SOme of the biomarkers they identified were bacteria in the gut microbiome, proteins produced by the body, and how much carbon dioxide people exhaled. The study found that these biomarkers can impact an individual’s ability to sustain weight loss. Additionally, the research claimed that certain individuals lose more weight on different types of diets.


Now at face value, all these findings seem reasonable and make promising claims for people to lose weight sustainably. However, if you are a general consumer who has never read a research study before, you are probably missing the issues with this study and why it is important to understand how these studies are conducted.


Screening for Flaws and Biases

There are several red flags in this article that should make you think twice about the recommendations:

  • The study was conducted over a 12 month period
  • The study used low-carb and low-fat diets 
  • The participants were mostly white women

This article suggests that these biomarkers in combination with different diets results in “long term sustainable weight loss” however the participants were only observed over a 12 month period. Previous research shows that most diets fail in 1-5 years and results in regaining the weight lost, if not more weight than before. So there is an issue here claiming that “long term weight loss” is only one year long.


The other issue is that this research uses various diets as a part of their research, so how was it determined if the biomarker was responsible for the weight loss or the diet was? And again, if it was from the diet, we know that the results do not stand the test of time.


Lastly, the study is not reflective of our population, the participants were mostly white women around the age of 40. In order to claim that these results can be applied to the general population, there needs to be more inclusivity in the study population.


Significance of Individual Nutrition

In the intuitive eating space, there is a heavy focus on individualized nutrition, and for good reason. Nutrition is a science, however it is a practice that requires tailoring to the individual, because we all have a different genetic makeup, environment, and life experiences that influence our health and day to day life.


What this study fails to recognize is the role that some of these external factors have on nutrition and weight loss. It is important for this bias to be recognized and considered in research.


Including Mindset, Not Excluding It

Years of research on intuitive eating and flexible nutrition have shown that this approach is the most sustainable long term (over decades, not one year).


At Food Ease Nutrition, we recognize the significance of individualized nutrition, and we practice an inclusive mindset, not an exclusive one. We have seen through research and through practice that finding ways to ADD to your life rather than taking things away yields the most positive results. We want to help you find ways to add to your life, through food, movement, and gratitude, and ultimately heal your relationship with your body and food. Contact us today for your FREE 15 min discovery call.

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