Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Human Diet Experiment

Looking for a better approach to nutrition but confounded by the myriad of diet plans out there? Well, John Bradley of Outside Magazine has done the heavy lifting for you by devoting a year to testing out six different approaches to eating, and comparing the results.
I decided on a radical experiment. I would spend eight weeks each on six different plans representing the various options for would-be dieters, from popular fads to clinical studies: the Abs Diet, the Paleo Diet for Athletes, the Mediterranean Prescription, the Okinawa Program, the advice of a personal nutritionist, and the USDA's nutritional pyramid. I'd record every meal, snack, caloric drink, and workout, along with notes on how I was feeling, and make bimonthly visits to my doctor and the blood lab for weigh-ins, cholesterol checks, and body-composition analysis. I'd grant myself only two breaks: 19 days for my honeymoon, after the Abs Diet, and 11 days around Christmas and New Year's, after the Paleo Diet for Athletes. Huge pain in the ass. Huge.
My hypothesis: By applying the same discipline to nutrition that I apply to cycling, I'd be able to measure these diets against the claims of their authors. Each one would have something to teach me; each would also fail me. And along the way, I became the world's leading expert on how I'm supposed to eat.
Read the entire article here.