Calories Are Not Created Equal

Calories Are Not Created Equal

Research continues to support the concept that a lower-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet.  One of the major challenges of weight loss is the metabolic slowdown that accompanies a decrease in caloric intake. Go on a diet and your body must consume fewer and fewer calories to maintain any weight loss. Researchers looked at three weight-loss approaches to see if there was any difference in this metabolic slowdown. They compared a low-fat diet, a low-glycemic diet, and a low-carbohydrate diet.  In addition, they looked to see if there were any advantages or disadvantages to the different approaches in cardiovascular disease indicators.

What they found was that the very-low-carb diet (10% carb, 60% fat, 30% protein) decreased the total energy expenditure (TEE—the number of calories used in a day to maintain weight) the least (an average of 97 calories a day); the low-glycemic diet (40% carb, 40% fat, 20% protein) decreased TEEan average of 297 calories a day; and the low-fat diet (60% carbohydrates, 20% fat, 20% protein) decreasedTEEthe most—an average of 423 calories per day.

The study was not able to find a consistent pattern forCVDor metabolic syndrome risk with the different diet approaches.

What this may mean for weight loss surgery patients

This study is consistent with the Barix Clinics’ recommendation of six small, high-protein meals and strict limitation of food and beverages with added sugars.  It also supports making healthy food choices within those recommendations. Fresh, less-processed foods are generally a healthier choice. For instance, eating a whole, fresh apple has a glycemic index of 38; once processed into applesauce, the glycemic index increases to 53. And selecting lean protein sources is a healthier choice than high-fat meat, cheese and dairy products. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be included in a healthy, well-rounded diet.

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About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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