Here’s the latest evidence on what diet is best for losing and keeping it off. A study in the Journal of American Medical Association confirms the notion that not all calories are created equal. Researchers at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at the Boston Children’s Hospital, found that diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal–either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate are better than a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. That’s the key since only one in six dieters will maintain even 10 percent of their weight loss long-term.
The study participants first had to lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight. Then they went on three separate diets in random order, for four weeks at a time. There was a low-fat diet, which is the traditional weight loss diet – comprised of 60 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.
There was a low-carbohydrate diet, modeled after the Atkins diet, with 60 percent of calories from fat and 30 percent from protein. And the low-glycemic index diet made up of minimally processed grains, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits, with 40 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein. The low-fat diet burned the fewest calories. The low-glycemic was equal to the very low-carb diet but without the negative effects of stress, inflammation and increased cardiovascular risk. Another benefit, according to the researchers, it’s easier to stick to because it doesn’t eliminate entire classes of food.