A personalized diet program allows users to design their own plan, based on specific levels of fiber and protein. This can help people shed extra weight and keep it off.
According to nutritionists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Individualized Diet Improvement Program (iDip) is a self-guided program that uses easy-to-use tools.
Mindy H., a graduate student, was a coauthor of the study. “Our program doesn’t provide or offer a strictly diet plan or recipes for participants.” “We are not excluding food groups like low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets do. Our primary goal is to empower dieters so that they can make informed decisions and create their own sustainable weight management program.
Flexible diets are key to weight loss and maintenance, according to Manabu Ta. Nakamura (a professor of nutrition at the University).
He stated that “the problem with current commercial weight-loss program and products is the fact that the magnitude of dieters’ weight loss is not very large.” “The problem is that many people are unable to maintain it.
“If they do the program and only eat the food they are instructed to for four to six months, they will lose some weight. However, if they stop following it or stop buying the products, their weight returns. They find this very disappointing.
Researchers created a visual tool that plots dieters’ fiber and protein intake. This helps them choose foods with lower calories and higher protein.
The iDip visual instrument plots the protein and fiber content of foods per calorie, according to Institutes of Medicine. This tool allows users to create meals that contain approximately 80 grams of protein daily and 20 grams fiber per day, while keeping their daily intake below 1,500 calories.
The participants ranged in age from 24-59. They all had a higher body mass than 28. Participants self-reported that they had experienced two or more commercial diets or weight-loss products and were obese.
Participants weighed themselves every day at home with a wifi-enabled device. Researchers provided each person with a weekly chart that showed their weight-loss progress, the intended rate of weight loss, as well as a six month goal weight.
Nakamura explained that participants could track their progress through weekly feedback and daily weighing charts without having to count calories or complete a daily food journal. This can be time-consuming, tedious and inaccurate.
Nakamura stated that “No culture has ever counted calories in the entire history of humanity.” We know that it’s not sustainable for the long term. It is important to weigh every day and record the trends. It is easy to maintain over your lifetime, and it’s a great habit to have if you want to lose or maintain weight.
Participants attended 22 educational sessions with registered dietitians during the 12-month program. There were 19 lectures in groups that provided nutrition information and showed how this knowledge could be applied to cooking and grocery shopping. These lectures covered the benefits of exercise and how to manage weight loss plateaus and maintain it.
Each participant also received three coaching and advising sessions.
The study found that 12 out of 14 participants completed their program. Lee explained that half the participants reached the researchers’ goal to lose at least 5% of bodyweight and maintained their weight during the six month follow-up.
Although there were only a few participants, researchers believed it proved the program’s feasibility.
30 people are currently participating in a third clinical trial of iDip. These results are promising. Lee reported that participants lost approximately 6.5% of body weight after the six-month weight loss phase.
John Erdman (a professor emeritus in food science and nutrition) was also a co-author of the paper, as well as alumni Annabelle L. Shaffer and Catherine C. Applegate.
The journal published the study. PLOS ONE.