According to recent findings presented at the annual Endocrine Society meeting in San Diego, reducing calories from dietary fat blasts away more belly chub than cutting back on calories from carbs. Here’s how researchers came to this finding: A group of overweight men and women were admitted into a metabolic ward for 11 days. During the first five days, each participant was given a weight-maintenance diet comprised of 50 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent fat and 15 percent protein. For the remaining six days, everyone’s calorie intake was slashed by 30 percent, but half of the participants were given a low-fat diet while the other half ate low-carb. After a month-long wash-out period, the participants were then readmitted and put back on the weight-maintenance diet for five days before going on six days of the restricted-calorie diet they hadn’t done in the first round.
A tedious process, we know! But the results were staggering: On the reduced-fat diet, participants lost 67 percent more body fat than they did while cutting carbs. Although this is exciting news, carb lovers, don't think it’s an excuse to trade in healthy carbohydrates like brown rice for a plate filled with cookies!
Not big into the starchy stuff? Fear not. A review of 25 different studies found that both low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets are equally effective for weight loss. The bottom line: While low-fat diets may help you lose more fat, any diet you’ll actually adhere to can help you trim down and is the one you should pick. It’s all about finding a plan that’s practical for your lifestyle.