Sure, you’ve heard it before, but now, there’s actual data to prove that when it comes to dieting, it’s not all about calories in versus calories out. All calories are not created equal!
Researchers sought out to discover why it’s easier for people to lose weight than it is to maintain the weight loss (only one out of every six overweight people can maintain even 10% of weight loss over the long term).
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, put 21 young adults who had just lost 30 pounds on three different diets: low fat, low carb, and low glycemic. What they discovered was that each diet had a different outcome on dieter’s metabolisms and ability to keep the weight off.
The results: While on the low fat diet, people burned fewer calories, making it harder to keep off weight. People on the low carb diet burned the most calories, but had increased risk of heart disease. The low glycemic diet offered medium calorie burning, with little risk of negative effects.
What the researchers said:
“These findings suggest, from a metabolic perspective, all calories are not alike. And for the best long-term outcomes, avoid restricting any major nutrients, either fat or carbohydrate, and focus on reducing refined carbs like white bread, white rice, potato products and sugary foods.
“Our findings suggest that actually trying to restrict either carbs or fat is not the best way (to achieve long-term weight loss) and instead to focus on the quality of the fats and the quality of the carbs. The traditional carbohydrates that we’ve eaten for thousands of years, for example steel-cut oats rather than instant oats or stone-ground breads rather than highly-processed breads, these traditional carbohydrates digest slowly and they slowly raise blood sugar slowly, so there isn’t the same surge and crash.
“But all of the refined carbs that invaded our diets with the low-fat craze seems to lead to metabolic changes not only making us hungrier, but causing metabolism to fall. And that combination is a recipe for weight gain.”
What works for everyone might not necessarily work for you, but this is strong evidence that some diets do tend to work better than others. Just remember, you need fat to burn fat (the healthy kind!), and if you want to keep the weight off in the long run, it’s time to make the switch to a low glycemic diet! And always talk to your doctor before starting a new weight loss program.