Low-Fat vs Low-Carb: Which Diet Wins?

Anyone who’s struggled with weight loss knows the quest to find the “best” diet is almost as frustrating as the extra pounds they’re carrying. In an attempt to find the most successful weight-loss program, the National Institutes of Health and American Diabetes Association funded a new study on the effectiveness of low fat and low carb diets. Which plan to you think proved to be the best? Well, you’re wrong! The study concluded that neither option is better when measuring long-term weight management. In a story reported by CNN, Kevin D. Hall, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health weighs in on the findings saying “None of the diets [in the study] did particularly well, and after one year, they are all pretty abysmal.”

Compared to other weight-loss plans, low-carb diets may be the easiest to follow in the short-run, and they do result in quick initial weight loss for many people. Ultimately any program that reduces the overall intake of calories while increasing activity levels will promote weight loss if followed. But studies show the median amount of weight loss experienced after a year is only about 8 pounds regardless of the diet.

But if Low Carb Diets Don’t Work…?

So what’s a dieter to do? Once again the focus turns to the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, one that can be maintained over a lifetime. We’re used to thinking that eliminating foods lead to weight gain. But the most recent research shows that along with adequate amounts of exercise adding more foods to our diets may prove helpful. Especially foods like whole grains, fresh vegetables, vegetable-based proteins and healthy fats like extra virgin coconut oil and olive oil. No matter what number is on the scale, helping the body to function at its highest level may be the most useful long-term goal.

In other words: Don’t deprive. Thrive with a lifestyle that focuses on being healthy, not being thin.