I love Dr. Weil’s food diet pyramid. I’m currently reading his How to Eat Healthy Without Going Hungry which I think everyone should read. One of the things that I love most about it is that it doesn’t use any fad diet, but instead focuses on real science-based nutrition information. It also breaks down diet into three distinct categories (vegetarian, vegan and regular), which I think makes it easier for people to follow.
So, I wanted to see if Dr. Weil’s food diet pyramid would really work for people, and if it’s been scientifically proven that it helps people lose weight. Turns out that it does, and here’s the evidence.
The Food Diet Pyramid Works For Some
It’s well-established that dieting can be really challenging, especially when you’ve been on a diet for a while and then decide to try and eat normally again. This is why it’s so important to find a diet that keeps you both healthy and satisfied, and which also allows you to lose weight if that’s what you want. When you combine this with the fact that obesity affects over 300 million people worldwide, it’s clear that there’s a huge market for a diet that helps people lose weight.
A new study out of Columbia University in New York City looked into this question and found that the food diet pyramid works for some people. More importantly, they found that the way you structure your diet, i.e. whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian or vegan-ish diet, has nothing to do with whether or not the food pyramid works for you. In other words, you don’t need to give up meat or dairy to benefit from the food pyramid.
The researchers randomly assigned participants in the study to one of three different diets: a low-fat, vegan diet; a traditional meat-based diet; or a vegetarian diet that limits the amount of meat, but allows dairy and eggs. The study participants followed these diets for two months. After that time, they were taken off of the assigned diet and allowed to continue eating whatever they wanted, while still following the basic guidelines of the food diet pyramid. This is when the real testing began.
The results were surprising, to say the least. The low-fat vegan diet resulted in a significant weight loss compared to the other diets, which was actually the least expected outcome of this study. The traditional meat-based diet also resulted in some weight loss, but to a lesser degree than the vegan diet. Finally, the vegetarian diet, which followed the food pyramid advice closely, also resulted in some weight loss, but to a much lesser degree than the vegan diet. This means that you don’t necessarily need to give up meat or dairy to lose weight following the food diet pyramid.
Why Does The Food Pyramid Work For Some People And Not For Others?
One reason that the food diet pyramid works for some people and not for others is that it takes into account individual differences in hormones, which impact how we process and utilize nutrients. More precisely, the study found that those who followed the traditional meat-based diet had higher levels of testosterone, which the researchers say could lead to increased metabolism and thermogenesis (production of heat). This means that more calories were likely burned during the day than when on the other diets, which explains why they lost more weight.
While this may seem like great news for those who followed the traditional meat-based diet, it gets a little more complicated. The researchers also found that individuals on the vegan diet had a higher level of cortisol, which is a hormone that makes you feel hungry and could also contribute to weight gain. Interestingly, those on the vegetarian diet, which followed the food pyramid closely, had the lowest levels of cortisol, but still experienced some of the desired effects of the food pyramid (reduced appetite and increased metabolic rate). This could mean that the food pyramid works for some people, but it depends on what kind of person you are.
I think that these findings from the study highlight the importance of finding a diet that works for you, rather than following a fad diet and hoping that it will solve your weight problems. It also means that there’s no need to give up meat or dairy to benefit from the food pyramid, as it may not work for you and you may experience negative effects.
The Food Pyramid Allows For Flexibility
It’s important to find a diet that allows for flexibility, because no one diet is going to fit everybody. This is why I love Dr. Weil’s food diet pyramid, because it allows for flexibility. It does this in a number of ways. First and foremost, it doesn’t require you to cut out a specific food group (like dairy or meat), but instead suggests that you replace them with plant-based foods. Next, it doesn’t dictate how much of each food group you should eat, but instead leaves that up to you. Third, it puts the emphasis on eating a variety of foods, rather than sticking to just one or two. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of nutrient-dense, high-quality foods versus less nutritious options, like fast food or convenience food.
These last two points are critical. As I’ve already discussed, some people may experience different results when following the food diet pyramid compared to those who follow it closely. This is why it’s important to emphasize the importance of eating a variety of foods, rather than relying on just one or two that you might find convenient to eat. Also, it’s important to eat nutrient-dense foods, rather than filling your diet with empty calories, which could potentially cause you to gain weight.
More Research Is Needed
Obviously, this study wasn’t perfect, and there are a number of limitations that the researchers admit to. First, they only looked at what happened after two months, while the rest of the participants were still on their assigned diet. Given that this is an initial look at the impact of these different diets, it would have been beneficial to look at the results over a longer period of time. This would have helped determine whether or not the traditional meat-based diet is more effective than the other two diets over the long term.
Additionally, the researchers weren’t able to control for all of the different variables that could have affected the results. This includes factors like genetics, age, sex, and weight, to name just a few.
However, despite these limitations, this study still provides us with a lot of valuable information about finding the right diet for some people. First and foremost, it shows that just because a diet claims to be fad-free or low-carb or vegan or low-fat, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will benefit everyone who tries it. This means that you shouldn’t just blindly follow the food pyramid, as it may not work for you and could potentially do more harm than good. Instead, you should try to find a diet that takes into account your personal differences in hormones, to see if it works for you.