Clash of the Weight Loss Titans
Weight Loss Study Pits Atkins vs. Ornish vs. Zone vs. LEARN Diets
WebMD News Archive
Healthy Weight Loss continued...
Ornish says it's just plain wrong to assume from the Gardner study that the
diet plans are equally healthy.
"To say the Atkins Diet is no more harmful than the Ornish Diet is
dangerously misleading," he says. “Dr. Gardner and colleagues say the
heart-disease risk factors were comparable on all four diets and then they said
that Atkins doesn't harm you. But risk factors are just risk factors. In our
studies, we actually measured heart disease itself, not just risk factors. And
we found that on the Ornish diet, people with heart disease showed clear
reversal after a month, more after a year, and even more after five
Volek has a very different view.
"Reducing carbohydrate intake is a very effective option for losing
weight, improving health, and reducing the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome -- high
blood pressure, high blood-fat levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, and
insulin resistance," he says. "Reducing
carbs is not only an option, but probably the preferred option for people to
correct these abnormalities."
Atkins, Zone, Ornish Diets Made Easy
Gardner says he thinks the main reason people trying to follow the Atkins
diet lost more weight is that the diet is easy to understand.
WebMD asked Sears and Ornish whether they could sum up their diets in a
brief, simple statement.
"For the Zone diet, a person needs only one hand and one eye," Sears
says. "At every meal, the rest of your life, divide your plate into three
equal parts. On one, put a piece of meat, fish, chicken, tofu, or low-fat
protein no wider or thicker than the palm of your hand. And on the other two
thirds of your plate, fill it full of vegetables and fruits. And then take a
dash of monounsaturated, healthy fat. And now you have a meal with the right
balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. That is how you lose weight -- you
keep hunger and satiation under control."
Ornish says simple changes to the diet help people lose weight and gain
"These changes are simple," he says. "Eat less total fat. Eat
fewer simple carbs. Try to eat whole foods if you can -- predominantly fruits
and vegetables and whole grains and legumes in their natural form. And eat some
Brownell says it obviously isn't easy to lose weight, or else all sensible
diet plans would work better.
"Obesity is a problem that screams out
to be prevented rather than treated," he says. "We need to start with
people when they are children, and we need to work on preventing the