After losing weight, get the same number of calories from fat and carbs to maintain weight loss, study suggests

Subjects on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet did not do
as well when it came to keeping weight off, a study
has found. (Photo by Tetra Images)

All calories may not be equal when it comes to weight loss, the results of a small study show. It found that people who ate a diet of an even amount of carbohydrates and fat were the winners when it came to shedding pounds.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, involved 21 overweight men and women. After following a 12-week weight-loss regimen in which they lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, the subjects were divided into three groups and fed a different kind of diet. One diet was low-fat (60 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent fat and 20 percent protein). A second was low in carbohydrates: 10 percent carbs, 60 percent fat and 30 percent protein. The third was called a “low glycemic index diet,” with 40 percent carbs, 40 percent fat and 20 percent protein.

In all three diets, while the subjects were at rest, they burned fewer calories than before they lost weight. “But over the course of the day, the subjects burned more than 300 additional calories on average when on the very low-carbohydrate diet compared with the low-fat diet,” reports Eryn Brown for the Los Angeles Times. However, “blood samples drawn from the participants in the low-carb diet phase contained elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as C-reactive protein, which signals chronic inflammation in the body and has been linked to cardiovascular disease.”

Subjects on the low glycemic diet burned 200 more calories than those on the low-fat diet and did not have the problems associated with the high-carb diet, prompting the study’s senior author, Dr. David Ludwig, to recommend it as the best course of action. (Read more)

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