Is Cutting Carbs The Real Solution to Lose Weight?

There has been always a debate on which is better and more effective in terms of weight loss: low-carb diet or low-fat diet. Since there is a wide array of diet techniques and choices to choose from, people, especially fitness beginners, become confused on what is the best choice to adopt and take. But, which is really better: adopting a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet? Let us refer to a research conducted in Louisiana that specifically studied obese people in the area.

The respondents were divided into two groups, one adopting a low-carb diet and the other adopting a low-fat diet.

  • Low-carb group:
  1. 40g of carbs per day for a year
  2. Activity levels kept unchanged
  3. Meal replacement and dietary counselling were provided
  • Low-fat group:
  1. Cut dietary fat intake to 30% of daily calories for a year
  2. Activity levels kept unchanged
  3. Meal replacement and dietary counselling were provided

This ‘challenge’ can be really drastic to the respondents, as this is way different from their routine. That is why things did not go as planned. The low-carb group never managed to consume 40g of carbs a day, but they were able to make big and better changes in the first 3 months. They were able to reduce their 240g carb intake per day to 100g. On the succeeding months, their carb intake increased to 130g. To conclude, the low-carb group ate the same amount of fat as they did before, but their protein intake increased over the year.

On the other hand, the low-fat group started at 35% fat intake of the overall total calories, then it decreased to 30%. They also ended up cutting total calories at the same level with the low-carb group, but their carb intake increased.

So, were they successful? It is safe to say they became better than before. The results were:

  • Low-carb group:
  1. Average lbs. lost: 11.7lbs.
  2. Fat mass lost: 1.2%
  3. Lean mass gained: 1.3%
  • Low-fat group:
  1. Average lbs. lost: 3.9lbs.
  2. Fat mass lost: 0.3%
  3. Lean mass lost: 0.4%

Based on the data, the low-carb group did better with overall weight loss and lean mass gain, because they ate less carbs, more protein and same amount of fat. In addition, the low-carb group had a higher HDL, which is a strong foreteller of avoiding heart diseases.

The bottom line is this: even if there is a wide array of diet techniques and choices to choose from, choose what makes you eat healthy wholesome foods. Lowering your carb intake can  be helpful in keeping your heart healthy, but whatever way of eating you decide to eat, it is best to stick to whole, unprocessed foods. Low fat diets aren’t always the answer either, good fats such as nuts and avocado have a place in your diet

So, which is really better? You be the judge

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