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Is Low Carb Really Better For Weight Loss?

What’s the best diet for weight loss-low carb or low fat? What if I told you it doesn’t matter?

Newly published research in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the effects of a low fat vs a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss in 609 overweight adults. All participants in the weight loss study ate 1500-1700 calories per day for one year, with half of the participants assigned a low fat eating plan and the other half assigned a low carbohydrate eating plan.

The low fat group ate a diet that was about 50% carbohydrate and 25-30% fat.

The low carbohydrate group ate a diet that was 25% carbohydrate and 45-50% fat.

Both groups were encouraged to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Trans fats and processed foods were discouraged for both groups.

At the end of the year-long trial, both groups lost the same amount of weight.

The findings reported from JAMA are similar to other studies looking at the effectiveness of specific nutrients for weight loss. This study was a little different because it also looked to see if different genetic profiles responded more favorably to one diet over another. In this study, researchers concluded that genetic profiles did not influence effectiveness of diet.

So what does this really tell us?

The research confirms what we’ve known for a long time-there is no such thing as a magic diet for long-term weight loss. A whole food diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is the foundation of a diet that promotes health and prevents disease, regardless of changes in weight. Whether you eat more carbohydrate or more fat is a matter of personal preference.

For people who are trying to lose weight, habits of successful losers-those who have been able to maintain a weight loss of 30 pounds or more for over a year include:

  • Eating breakfast every day

  • Keeping a food journal

  • Exercising 60 minutes every day

  • Weighing in once a week

So one more time-what’s the best diet for weight loss-low fat or low carb?

Answer: The eating plan that that you’re most likely to stick with is the best diet for weight loss!

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