Exploring the acceptability of, and adherence to a carbohydrate-restricted diet as self-reported by women aged 40-55 years
Journal of Holistic Performance | ISSN: 2463-7238 | Published: 23 January 2018
Julia Claire McPhee1, Caryn Zinn 1, Melody Smith2
Background. It is well recognised that ageing in females is associated with a predilection for weight gain. Women with abdominal obesity are known to be at especially high risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, as well as associated poorer overall health outcomes. Many of these metabolic disorders, however, can be alleviated through weight loss.
Methods. This research describes an exploratory study investigating the self-reported acceptance of, and adherence to, a carbohydrate-restricted diet in women aged 40-55 years old. The 8-week weight loss dietary intervention was based on a whole food approach, which was lower in total carbohydrate and higher in dietary fat than mainstream nutrition guidelines. The two primary outcome measures of this research were barriers to and motivators for acceptance of and adherence to this way of eating. The mixed methods approach employed endorsed a multi-level intervention, integrating behaviour change models with both the medium of delivery and required dietary modifications.
Hypothesis. The hypothesis underpinning this study is that a lower carbohydrate, higher fat (LCHF) dietary approach, through its macronutrient profile, has the potential to enhance an individual’s self-reported adherence to behavioural lifestyle modifications required to reduce weight and improve metabolic health outcomes.
Results. Support by family members, in particular, spouses, was a key theme and appeared to act as both a barrier and motivator to adherence. Subsequent themes included satiety or feelings of fullness, being prepared by ensuring suitable food options were readily available, and acceptability of new food options.
Discussion. The findings from this study suggest self-reported adherence to this way of eating was achieved via improved satiety and enhanced social and spousal support. Moreover, results showed that for this population group, the intervention design was appropriate and medium of delivery was effective.