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Old 03-24-2003, 12:58 AM
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Default Why low fat diets aren\'t the best way to lose weight...

"Why low fat diets aren't the best way to lose weight..."

Researchers from Boston, Massachusetts have shown that a diet
containing more fat could make it easier for you to lose weight
and keep it off for longer.

Although low-fat diets are often used by people wanting to lose
weight, this latest study shows that a low-calorie diet
containing a higher percentage of fat is a far better option.

A total of 101 overweight men and women were split into two
groups. The first group was given a diet deriving 35% of its
energy from fat. Group two consumed a low-fat diet, where 20% of
the total calories came from fat.

Eighteen months later, the average weight loss in the group
consuming the moderate-fat diet was 9 pounds. In contrast, the
group consuming the low-fat diet had actually put on over 6

Moreover, 8 out of 10 subjects on the low-fat diet had quit
after 18 months, compared to only 5 out of 10 on the
moderate-fat diet.

One of the problems with low-fat diets is they tend to restrict
your choice of food. This could be the reason 8 out of 10
subjects had given up after 18 months. Moreover, foods commonly
included in low-fat diets (such as meal replacement bars,
ready-made low-fat meals, and low-fat desserts) contain
ingredients with the potential to put the brakes on fat loss.

If you've ever tried to lose weight with a low-fat diet, chances
are you felt hungry most of the time. That's because certain
types of low-fat foods can trigger hormonal changes that
stimulate your appetite. This promotes excessive food intake in
people who are overweight.

Dietary fat has been demonized over the past two decades.
However, this study shows that a low-calorie diet deriving 35%
of its total calories from fat will help you lose weight and
keep it off for longer.

It adds to the growing body of evidence showing that the various
forms of dietary fat - polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and
saturated fat - all have an important role to play in a healthy


McManus, K., Antinoro, .L, & Sacks, F. (2001). A randomized
controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared
with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight
adults. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic
Disorders, 25, 1503-1511

From: Harvard School of Public Health

Dietary Fat and Obesity

It is a common belief that the more fat you eat, the more body fat you put on, and the more weight you gain. This belief has been bolstered by much of the nutrition advice given to people over the past decade, which has focused on lowering total fat intake while increasing carbohydrate intake. However, current data show that this advice has been misguided. While total fat intake nationwide has dropped over the last decade, rates of obesity have increased steeply.

Most studies show that over the short term, a low-fat diet does result in weight loss. But many diets show such benefits over the short term. On the other hand, low-fat diets appear to offer no substantial advantages over diets with fat levels close to the national average.

High Carbohydrate/Very Low-Fat Diets
(For example, Dean Ornish, Pritikin, Food for Life Diet)

For years, you've probably heard the advice to cut back on the total amount of fat you eat and to consume more complex carbohydrates. And thousands of "low-fat" alternatives now crowd the supermarket shelves. But is simply cutting back on fat and loading up on carbohydrates a healthy way to eat or to lose weight? Current research suggests that it isn't. Just as researchers learned that not all types of fat are bad, they're also discovering that not all types of carbohydrates are good.

It's easy to fall into the "low-fat trap." Because fat, gram-for-gram, has more than twice as many calories as either protein or carbohydrates, it seems logical that choosing low-fat products would help with weight loss. However, all too often the low-fat products on supermarket shelves are packed with sugar to make up for the taste that's lost when fat is removed.

While people think that a low-fat alternative will hasten weight loss, it often has just as many calories as the full-fat version--and may even have more. In addition, many people mistakenly think that because a food is low in fat, they can eat as much of it as they want without gaining weight. But as far as the body is concerned, one calorie is the same as another, no matter where they came from. Eat too many calories (whether from fat, carbohydrates, or protein), and you'll gain weight.

Aside from weight loss, the popularity of low-fat food has broader implications for health. Many people are increasing the amount of carbohydrates in their diets, particularly in the form of sugars, and as we know from the discussion of the glycemic index, doing so may lead to increases in heart disease and diabetes.

For example, in a study of 80,000 nurses, Harvard researchers calculated that replacing a given number of calories from polyunsaturated fat with an equivalent number from carbohydrates increased the risk for heart disease by over 50 percent. And other studies have found that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, particularly one high in sugars, can worsen blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

"Eat a low-fat diet," long the mantra of health and diet experts, has lost many adherents in recent years. Current research suggests that rather than focus on total fat intake, a healthier strategy is, first, to replace the "bad" fats (saturated and trans fats) with "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) and, second, to eat more whole grains high in dietary fiber. For weight loss, the best approach is to square the amount of food you eat with the number of calories you burn in a day. One of the best ways to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is to exercise regularly.

Old 04-13-2003, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: \"Why low fat diets aren\'t the best way to lose weight...\"

Looks like this is needed. To the top! [img]/forum/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
Old 04-13-2003, 05:41 AM
PhysiqueMystique PhysiqueMystique is offline
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Thanks for this Krypto, I have been trying to explain this to friends for ages! Now I'll just email it...
http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/ebook/mm2.gif<a href="http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/bodybuilding-recipes.asp" target="_blank">Tasty Nutrition for Muscle and Performance</a>
Old 04-13-2003, 11:32 AM
SlowBurner1 SlowBurner1 is offline
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Amen :-)

TheLowCarbLife.com - free resource for those living or dieting low carb / high protein.
Old 04-13-2003, 09:35 PM
Chicker Chicker is offline
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Thanks! Now I can prove to all my low-fat dieting friends that I'm not the one who's crazy. hehe...
Old 04-13-2003, 10:05 PM
Source 101 Source 101 is offline
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Default Re:

Nice article.
The majority of the low fat/high carb dieters seem to be obsessed with weight loss instead of fat loss. Will you lose weight on a high carb/low fat diet if you stay under your maintenece cals...YES!
But we're not aiming for just simple weight loss(muscle and fat)....we want fat loss and only fat loss. Your body will never use fat as fuel if there is a large amount of insulin present in the blood stream from consuming carbs. The low fat/high carbers are sorely mistaken if they think that the calories in vs calories out approach is the best way to lose fat. The only people that I have know that get really lean on low fat/high carb diets are genetic freaks.
Old 05-10-2003, 07:22 PM
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BUMP for Teddygirl.
Old 05-11-2003, 09:18 AM
Teddygirl Teddygirl is offline
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Thanks again Kryrto ;o)

Old 05-27-2003, 04:13 PM
enderwigginout enderwigginout is offline
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Thought I'd bump this again for all the newbies. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Old 05-29-2003, 09:39 AM
lifterchick lifterchick is offline
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Bumpin right behind ya, ender [img]/forum/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]!
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