Low-Fat Diets vs Low-Carb Diets - Which one is best for weight loss?

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A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the effects of a healthy low-fat diet vs a healthy low-carbohydrate diet on weight change after 12 months in 600+ healthy adults (Gardner et al 2018).

No significant difference in weight loss was found between the two diets (-5.3kg on the low-fat diet and -6kg on the low-carbohydrate diet), however neither diet was strict after the first 2 months. Both groups were instructed to eat lots of vegetables and protein, while limiting their intake of added sugar and refined carbs, which studies have increasingly tied to a variety of negative health outcomes.

Due to no kJ/calorie limit being set, participants were not required to count calories or energy intake, and instead were taught about mindful eating, and eating to satiety. The researchers discovered the participants ate around 500 calories (2000 kJ) less, despite having no energy limits on their diets.

So what does this tell us? It signifies there is no diet for weight loss that will work for EVERY person, and instead we are better off choosing an eating style that fits our food preferences, health goals, lifestyle, and most importantly, one we can sustain.

Bradford Clinic