A personalized eating program can help you lose weight effectively
About the Personal Diet Improvement Program
According to the nutritionists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who created iDip, the Personal Diet Improvement Program is a self-guided approach that includes easy-to-use tools.
“Our program does not provide or offer a strict diet plan or formula for participants to follow” PhD student Mindy H. Lee, co-author of the study said. “We don’t rule out food groups like low-carbohydrate or low-fat plans. The main goal is to empower dieters to make informed choices so they can create a weight management program.” its own sustainability.”
Diet flexibility is the key to sustainable weight loss and maintenancestudy co-author Manabu T. Nakamura, a professor of nutrition at the university.
“The problem with today’s commercial weight loss programs and products is that the extent to which dieters lose weight is not great,” he says. “The more serious problem is that people cannot maintain it.
“If they follow the program or only consume the foods they’re required to for four or six months, they lose a certain amount of weight, but when they drop out of the program or buy the product, the weight will go back immediately. And that’s highly discouraged for them.”
iDip Visual Tool
A visual tool developed by researchers that charts a dieter’s protein and fiber intake, helps them choose foods that reduce their overall calorie intake without reducing their protein and fiber intake.
Based on dietary guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine, the visualization tool iDip charts a food’s protein and fiber density per calorie along with target ranges for meals. The tool helps users create meals with about 80 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber per day while limiting their intake to less than 1,500 calories per day.
Between the ages of 24-59, all participants in the initial clinical trial had a body mass index greater than 28, placing them in the overweight or obese category. According to the participants’ self-reports, they had obesity-related health conditions such as high blood pressure and had tried two or more commercial diet programs or weight loss products in the past.
Participants weighed themselves daily at home using a wifi-enabled scale, and the researchers provided each person with a weekly chart showing their weight loss progress, expected rate of loss and six-month target weight.
Daily weight charts and weekly feedback allow participants to track their progress without needing to count calories or complete a daily food diary, which can be tedious, says Nakamura time and inaccuracy.
“In all of human history, no culture has counted calories,” says Nakamura. “And we know it’s not sustainable in the long-term. But daily weighing and trend logging is a very important tool. It’s easy to maintain for a lifetime and a good habit for anyone looking to lose or maintain weight. Maintain your weight.”
During the 12-month program, participants attended 22 educational sessions led by registered dietitians. They include 19 group lectures that provide nutritional information and explain how to apply this knowledge to shopping and cooking. Lectures also focus on the benefits of physical activity and how to navigate the plateaus of weight loss and maintenance.
In addition, each participant received three individual coaching and counseling sessions.
According to the study, 12 out of 14 participants completed the program. Half met the researchers’ goal of losing at least 5% of their body weight and maintaining it over the six-month follow-up period, Lee said.
Despite the small number of participants, the researchers say it demonstrated the program’s viability.
A third clinical trial of iDip is currently underway with 30 participants, and the results are even more promising. By the end of the six-month weight loss phase, the participants had lost about 6.5 percent of their body weight, says Lee.