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Blog - Richard Geres Personal Training - Weight-Loss, Fitness, Research

Thu, 1 March 2018

Low-carb, low-fat? What's better for weight-loss?

As a society, we are constantly bombarded with information from friends and media, that claim things like:

Eating carbs after 6pm is bad for you

Carbs make you fat

Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism and makes you fat

I choose this brand of bread because it's low-fat.

Well, the truth is that carbs as such don't  make you fat, our body doesn't have a timer that starts turning carbs into fat after 6pm, there is evidence that you can lose weight skipping breakfast or even eating only once a day, and most kinds of bread are low-fat (even Maltese bread) , because their main ingredient is flour, which has only 1 g of fat per 100g.

An interesting study was just published in January 2018 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), comparing the effects of a low-fat diet with those of a low-carb diet on weight-loss. This was a highly powered study, running for 12 months with over 300 participants in each group. All participants received regular counseling sessions from a dietician to help them stay on track with their diet plan.

At the end of the 12 months, the weight-loss achieved in both groups was similar, showing no significant statistical difference.  Therefore, whether you ate high-carb and low-fat or whether you ate low-carb and  high-fat did not make any significant difference to the rate of weight-loss.

Fig 1: Comparison of weight-loss between a low-carb and low-fat diet
low-carb vs low-fat
Source: Gardner et al, 2018, JAMA

One difference that was observed was that those on a low-fat diet reduced their LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) more than those on the low-carb diet, whereas those on the low-carb diet increased their HDL-cholesterol (good, heart protective cholesterol) and lowered their triglycerides (fat in the blood) more than those in the low-fat diet.

Once again it was shown that weight-loss is dependent PRIMARILY ON CALORIE INTAKE, and not so much on nutrient ratios (proportion of carbs, fats and proteins).

Many strategies work for weight loss. The goal is to find the appropriate one for you, the one that makes it most convenient and the least discomforting to stick to. Weight-loss takes time, therefore it is essential to find a strategy that can be maintained over several months without too much sacrifice, limitation and complexity.

We can help you out with an easy and convenient plan to lose weight, get fit and feel good about yourself. But don't expect results next week. Give us at least 3 months, and we'll show you an improved body. Our regular one-to-one consultation meeting will help you to remain motivated and will address any personal issues that may have arisen during your previous 2 weeks.

If you're interested in finding out more about our weight-loss programmes, book a consultation meeting here or call us on 27877445/99877445.

We look forward to meeting you!