The Data is in: Which Diet Will Help You Lose the Most Weight?

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 6.00.51 PM WellnessFX recently partnered with Lift for the largest crowdsourced diet study ever attempted: The Quantified Diet Project  (aka Quantified Diet, #quantdiet). The goal? Get measurements, for the first time, on every major popular diet, from Paleo to Slow-Carb, to Gluten-Free and everything in between. We’re excited to share the first round of discoveries because, let’s face it, we’re nuts about data. All hail the Quantified Selfie.

The Quantified Diet (briefly) explained

  • Which diets did this cover? The Slow-Carb, Paleo, Whole Foods, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, No sweets, DASH, Calorie Counting, Sleep More, Mindful Eating.
  • How many people? The study netted 15k participants who snapped up the opportunity to get healthier and receive discounts on WellnessFX packages. (One lucky participant even won a WellnessFX Performance package)
  • What did they do? Participants chose which of the approaches (diets) they were willing to try and then were randomly assign from within that group.
  • How long were they asked to stick with it? 28 days.
  • What else did they get? Lift wrote instructions for each diet, with the help of diet experts, and provided 28-day goals (with community support) for each diet inside the Lift app.

The Quantified Diet and weight loss: How did it turn out?

Some highlights from The Quantified Diet and how Lift interpreted the data collected. (Keep in mind these are top level results and you should check out the full study of Lift’s, because this chart absolutely does not tell the whole story):

quantified diet

Credit: Lift

  • The most successful diet: Slow-Carb, Paleo and DASH led the pack.
  • How much did people lose? The average weight loss was between 3-5 lb. per month for most people
  • What else did Lift do with the data? Based on the study, Lift built a weight loss calculator that will estimate a weight loss specific to you. (results will vary)
  • What else lead to weight loss?
    • Cutting soda. People who reported heavy pre-diet soda consumption lost an extra 0.6% body weight
    • If your existing diet is terrible (your new diet is even better in comparison).
    • Giving up fast food was good for an extra 0.6% loss.
    • Men lost more weight  (2.6% vs 1.8%).

Thanks to Lift’s quest to verify and compare every popular diet, we can now see initial results for ten. For the most part, they all appeared to work…so which one should you do? As Lift noted:

Given that all the diets work, the real question you should be asking yourself is which one do you most want to follow…I can’t stress that enough. It’s not just about which had the most weight loss. Choose a diet you can stick to.”

It’s still early and more analysis is to come, but we’re excited to have taken part in this effort. It is, of course, important to keep in mind that while these studies are helpful and insightful, you should still consult a nutritionist when it comes to the full scope of health impacts from a diet change. We recommend regularly testing your biomarkers to fully understand your body’s chemistry and how it reacts to the change in nutrition. Thanks again to Lift and the opportunity to partner with other optimal health-focused folks (PaleoHacks, Greatist, and Four Hour Body, to name a few) on this groundbreaking study. We look forward to more ventures like this that share our continued pursuit of helping others be their best self by empowering them with the data.   To get the inside scoop on Lift’s data analysis, methodology, and to read up on the randomized assignment and control group involved in the study, you can read Lift’s full study here. If you’re interested in contributing to the data and signing up to participate in The Quantified Diet, you can sign up here. All of them are available via the Lift app available on the web, iPhone and Android.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.