Researchers from the National Institute of Health recently wrapped up a new study that challenges what we know about the calorie, a unit of measurement used by nutritionists to characterize the energy-producing potential in food.
Essentially, researchers have found that dieters trying to maintain their weight loss burned significantly more calories eating a low-carb diet than they did eating a low-fat diet. The study’s finding published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was designed to see if dieters who changed their type of diet could help shed pounds that are often regained.
Scientists selected 21 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 40, and had them each lose about 30 pounds. After their weight loss, the researchers had different segments use varying diets for four weeks to see if the weight would return. Each diet had the same amount of calories, but the fat, protein and carbohydrate content varied.
The findings revealed that participants burned about 300 calories more a day on a low-carb diet than on a low-fat diet, about the same amount one would burn off with an hour of moderately intense physical activity. Essentially, eating low-carb foods helps you lose more weight than low-fat foods, according to the research.
But despite this finding, researchers are still unclear of the underlying reasoning for these findings. But they theorize that the low-carb diets don’t cause a surge-and-crash in blood sugar, which in turn doesn’t tripper the starvation response. When the body thinks its starving, it turns down its metabolism to conserve energy.
Only time will tell if this theory proves correct, but in the meantime eating a low-carb diet over a low-fat diet may be more beneficial. Of course all diets are hard to maintain and regulate. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to simply change one’s lifestyle altogether by eating healthier and exercising on a routine basis.