Low-fat diets have been known as a great way to lose weight, but a recent study reveals that they are no more effective than other types of diets. A low-carb diet was found to be better than low-fat diets for weight loss in a recent study published in Cell Metabolism, but results in this study show otherwise.
“We found that low-fat diets were not more effective than higher-fat diets for long-term weight loss,” said study leader Deirdre Tobias, an associate epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
The key to success seems to have more to do with adherence than a specific weight-loss plan, Tobias said. “Being able to stick to a diet in the long term will probably predict whether or not a diet is successful for weight loss,” she said. Finding a diet to follow that’s created just for you seems to be more effective for long-term weight loss.
Tobias advised that anyone wanting to lose weight find a sound weight-loss program that fits their preferences and cultural needs. Your doctor or physician should be able to develop a diet plan that matches your body type and lifestyle.
The study published in The Cell Metabolism, reviewed 53 clinical trials including more than 68,000 adults and found that low-fat diets do not help individuals lose weight and maintain that weight loss for more than a year along with diets that have higher amounts of fat. On average, those who followed a low-carb diet lost about 8.5 pounds, while those on the low-fat diet lost 6 pounds at the end of the year, researchers found.
Some experts debate that there should be no limit on fat consumption in our diets but in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists argue that all fats are not created the same. Foods with healthy fats such as fish, nuts and olive oil can shield us from heart diseases, while fat free and low-fat foods can be worse for our health compared to full-fat choices. Tobias recommends that people minimize the amount of trans-fats and saturated fats they consume.
Low-fat diets do not work as well as others because ‘sticking to a diet, whether it’s high-fat or low-fat, in the long-term seems to be difficult for people,” Tobias says. Low-fat diets do not seem to be as desirable as diet plans that let you have a little fat, according to Karen Ansel, a registered dietician-nutritionist.
While Tobias says that focusing on fat alone when it comes to fat loss is usually ineffective, she also insists that individuals need to consider more long-term about their eating habits.
“Using total fat as your only guide is misleading and can lead you to make several poor choices,” she says. “We need to turn the message away from fat vs. carbs, low-fat vs. high fat, and instead focus on the foods that are good for us for long-term success.”
I believe that people should focus on finding a diet plan that fits his or her lifestyle for effective long-term weight loss rather than low-carb vs. low-fat diets. I recommend consulting with a doctor or registered dietician-nutritionist to help you develop a diet plan for permanent weight loss.
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Source: Tobias, Deirdre K et al. “Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 29 October 2015