Study Shows Weight Loss From Calorie Reduction Not Low Fat or Low Carb

Posted on March 3, 2009  Comments (9)

A Randomized Trial Comparing Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets Matched for Energy and Protein

The preliminary results presented in this paper are for the first four of six postmenopausal overweight or obese participants who followed, in random order, both a VLC [very-low-carbohydrate] and an LF [low-fat] diet for 6 weeks. Other outcome measures were serum lipids, glucose, and insulin, as well as dietary compliance and side effects. Our results showed no significant weight loss, lipid, serum insulin, or glucose differences between the two diets. Lipids were dramatically reduced on both diets, with a trend for greater triglyceride reduction on the VLC diet. Glucose levels were also reduced on both diets, with a trend for insulin reduction on the VLC diet. Compliance was excellent with both diets, and side effects were mild

Essentially the study showed that the calories had an impact on weight loss but the makeup of those calories did not. Don’t forget this is just one study. Listen to interview with the Author, Frank Sacks, on Science Friday on NPR.

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9 Responses to “Study Shows Weight Loss From Calorie Reduction Not Low Fat or Low Carb”

  1. Keith M. Hyde
    June 22nd, 2009 @ 1:43 am

    It is known that when people eat low carbohydrate diets, within a relatively short time their body has to switch from using glucose as a fuel to using something different called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are appetite-suppressing and they may have an effect on the appetite centres in the brain. It’s also well known that protein itself is very good at making people feel full-up.

  2. Dave
    June 30th, 2009 @ 2:36 am

    A Low-Protein Diets Suppresses Serum Insulin, thus reduces body mass. Although other studies in this area have found breakthroughs in Breat Cancer treatment also!

  3. Dhruv
    July 30th, 2009 @ 8:55 am

    Both the diets might show a similar weight loss. But what is important to note is where this weight loss came from. A lower carb, higher protein-fat diet will promote muscle preservation (assuming the dieters were not working out), much more than the low fat diet. Also, its important to note where the carb calories came from.. it can totally affect weight, depending on the glycemic index of the foods.

  4. Anonymous
    August 12th, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

    It’s a very simple equation at the end of the day: you have to consume less calories then your body burns. The rest is not important, even though i believe that it’s best to keep a balanced which isn’t low on carbs/proteins/fat.

  5. pepper
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

    Very interesting. With so much talk about eating low carb, no carb or a healthy balance of carbs and proteins these days, its refreshing to hear that possible the macro nutrients do not matter so much.

  6. adel
    June 10th, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

    Worse than just adding calories, is adding highly glycemic calories. These are ones from rapidly absorbed sugars that cause a sudden rise in blood sugar, triggering a rapid increase in insulin production to convert excess glucose to fat. Do this repeatedly and you are storing gradually more and more fat and increasing your weight.

    Highly glycemic foods are things like cakes, biscuits, candy bars, dried fruits, fruit juices, and many manufactured snacks

  7. Michael
    June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

    Interesting post. What matters in the end is that the diet you choose is something you can sustain over the long term, creating a healthier lifestyle. Adel, your caution against the highly glycemic foods is spot on.

  8. How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Fat » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    January 3rd, 2013 @ 4:39 am

    […] of the science indicates calories consumed is by far the dominant factor in weight gain. Different foods with the same calories can affect how hungry you feel. Thus the biggest factor in […]

  9. modi
    August 18th, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    Interesting post. What matters in the end is that the diet you choose is something you can sustain over the long term, creating a healthier lifestyle. Adel, your caution against the highly glycemic foods is spot on.

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