Study: Low-Fat is More Effective Than Low-Carb for Weight Loss
A new study has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Metabolism with the title: Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity.
It was a relatively small study conducted by The National Institute of Health, with only 19 participants, but it was very tightly controlled – the participants all had to remain in the laboratory for 2 weeks while being closely monitored. Participants lost an average of 3.1 ounces of fat per day while on the low-fat diet for six days. When put on the low-carb diet, participants lost an average of 1.9 ounces of fat per day in the same amount of time.
From the paper’s summary:
Subjects received both isocaloric diets in random order during each of two inpatient stays. Body fat loss was calculated as the difference between daily fat intake and net fat oxidation measured while residing in a metabolic chamber. Whereas carbohydrate restriction led to sustained increases in fat oxidation and loss of 53 ± 6 g/day of body fat, fat oxidation was unchanged by fat restriction, leading to 89 ± 6 g/day of fat loss, and was significantly greater than carbohydrate restriction (p = 0.002).
By no means is this the end of the low-carb vs low-fat debate. Cursory searches online point to several studies which show that low-carb diets offer the best weigh-loss results for some people. But this study did further contribute to the ever-growing body of evidence that its not necessarily what types of food you eat (fats vs carbs) but rather that weight loss, ultimately, comes down to reducing the number of calories consumed.