So you’ve been consuming the healthiest of foods but are simply unable to get off that weight-loss plateau? There’s a reason why you’re not losing weight.

New research has shown that healthy foods may differ by an individual as people can metabolize the exact same foods in very different ways. What this essentially means is that a healthy diet for one person may not be healthy for another person.

The comprehensive study, conducted by researchers Eran Elinav and Eran Segal at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, has been published in the journal Cell.

The study tracked the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week and demonstrates the power of personalised nutrition to help individuals identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals.

In a statement, Segal said that the data opened one’s eyes to “the possibility that maybe we’re really conceptually wrong in our thinking about the obesity and diabetes epidemic”.

“The intuition of people is that we know how to treat these conditions, and it’s just that people are not listening and are eating out of control – but maybe people are actually compliant but in many cases we were giving them wrong advice,” he said.

The authors focused on one key component used in creating balanced diet plans such as Atkins, Zone or South Beach. Known as the glycemic index or GI for short, it was developed decades ago as a measure of how certain foods impact blood sugar level and has been assumed to be a fixed number.

But this latest research shows that it’s not. It turns out that it varies widely depending on the individual.

individual bodies

The work “really enlightened us on how inaccurate we all were about one of the most basic concepts of our existence, which is how we eat and how we integrate nutrition into our daily life,” Elinav said.

According to the researchers, the findings show that tailoring meal plans to individuals’ biology may be the future of dieting.

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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