Low-fat diet may not work for long-term weight loss

Sumita Thomas

September 23, 2019

For a long time now, the jury’s been divided on what kind of diet works best for weight loss: A low-carb diet or a low-fat one?

While some studies support a low-fat diet, a review of 53 scientific studies has found that low-fat diets may not be the best for long-term weight loss. The analysis reveals that science “does not support low-fat diets as the optimal long-term weight loss strategy”.

The review encompassed nearly 70,000 adults in several countries and was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

In fact, study results published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal said that low-carb diets led to greater weight loss than low-fat ones. The study showed that weight loss on a low-fat diet was just 360 gm as compared to the 1.15 kg lost on a higher-fat, low-carb plan.

It is a fact well known that all calories are not equal. Dietary fat has often been seen as the enemy as every gram contains more than double the calories in a gram of carbohydrates or protein.

But research has thrown up contradictory results.

A study published in Cell Metabolism last month had revealed that reducing fat intake leads to greater body fat loss in obese men and women. The low-fat diet led to more fat loss– but the low-carb diet led to more weight loss overall.

But this latest research is much more comprehensive and suggests that the contrary is true.

Dietary experts usually advise a reduction in fat intake for weight loss. Most of us tend to believe that simply reducing fat intake will naturally lead to weight loss.

“But our robust evidence clearly suggests otherwise,” the research team has said, adding that more research must be done to “identify better approaches for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance”.

Till then, as experts continue to exhort: The best diet for weight loss is one you can stick to. As long as you limit eating time through the day!

About the Author

For Sumita Thomas, good nutrition advice is less about what NOT to eat and all about HOW to eat. Armed with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from IGNOU, Sumita has worked with multi-specialty clinics and corporate clients, planning calorie-specific menus for their cafeterias. She’s also a certified diabetes educator, has worked in cardiac nutrition and is even a TUV-certified internal auditor for food safety management systems. Maybe that’s why she ensures her advice is always scientifically sound, which makes her a perfect fit for us at HealthifyMe. Of the belief that a healthy lifestyle can be achieved with the combination of a healthy mind, body and diet, Sumita recommends setting realistic goals – one health target a day – and gradually incorporating healthy ingredients to your daily diet. Does she practice what she preaches? For sure, and ensures all those around her do too. So get set, because that now includes you!

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