How should you eat for weight loss?
In the past, many people used to believe that all fat was bad for you. Today, almost everyone knows that this was a mistake.
The question is what is to come instead? The conventional wisdom today is fraught with confusion and a belief that it doesn’t matter at all what you eat weight-wise – “all diets are equally good”. A new scientific review of selected previous weight studies claims to confirm this… but it turns out not to be that simple.
It really wasn’t “all” diets that were equally good in the review, but low-carb or low-fat. But wait a minute, and let’s look at how they grouped different diets:
So, what most would call a low-fat diet, as in the old official or Weight Watcher’s dietary guidelines, turned out to be the worst in this review. It’s what they call “moderate macronutrients in the table above.
This despite the fact that the journalists wrote that all diets were equally good!
The diet groups that shared the first place were either…
- The average of all low-carb diets advising up to 40 % carbohydrates (Low-glycemic index diet)
- A strict low-fat diet, such as Ornish with less than 20 % fat.
A bit of an unfair comparison, it may seem. What if we instead compare advice on a more efficient strict low-carb diet, such as Atkins or LCHF (below 10–20% carbohydrates) with advice on a strict low-fat diet? Not many studies have compared the two, but by far the largest of them is Gardner and colleages’ study from 2007. Here’s the result:
When it comes to more moderate low-fat diets, the difference is even more obvious – and they even had the worst results in this comparison! Advice about low-carb diets has won over that for conventional low-fat diets in so many comparative studies – as recently as earlier this week – that it’s becoming more and more embarrassing to pretend otherwise.
Even a new Swedish government expert committee reached the conclusion that a low-carb diet provides more weight loss.
At children’s birthday parties we may feel free to pretend that all participants are doing equally well. But when it comes to scientific studies on different diets for weight loss it becomes more and more contrived to even try.