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  • Women lose an additional 7 lbs of body weight, 12 lbs of body fat on low carbohydrate diet

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    Monday, May 24, 2010 2:31 pm Email this article
    Women on a low carbohydrate lost an additional 7 pounds of body weight and 12 pounds of body fat in four months compared to women on a low calorie, low fat diet according to a recent study. Study design: 50 healthy, moderately obese women randomly assigned to low carb or low calorie diet

    The study involved 50 healthy, moderately obese women with an average body mass index (BMI) of 33.2.

    They were randomized to four months of an ad libitum low-carbohydrate diet or an low calorie, low-fat diet.

    Low carb group lost 7 lbs more body weight: 21.5 lbs vs 13.5 lbs

    The women in the low carbohydrate group lost an average of 21.5 pounds compared to 13.5 pounds for women in the low calorie, low fat group even though both groups were supposed to eat the same amount of calories, however, the researchers have their doubts.

    Low carb group lost 12 lbs more body fat: 13.6 lbs vs 1.5 lbs

    More interestingly, the women in the low carbohydrate group 12 pounds more body fat that the other group; 13.6 pounds versus 1.5 pounds.

    Low carb group consumed 108 fewer calories per day, possibly more

    The two groups reported similar calorie intakes according to three-day food records at the end of the study.

    The low carbohydrate group consumed an average of 108 calories less than the low calorie group, however, this was not statistically significant.

    The low carbohydrate group consumed an average of 1422 calories per day compared to 1530 for the low calorie, low fat group.

    Low carb diet had no effect on resting metabolism or thermic effect of food

    The high protein, low carbohydrate diet did not cause any increase in resting metabolism, the thermic effect of food—that is the increase in metabolism that occurs after eating—nor was there any difference in the amount of physical activity between the groups.

    Researchers suspect women in low calorie group may haved lied about their intake

    “The differential weight loss is not explained by differences in [resting metabolism, the thermic effect of food] or physical activity and likely reflects under-reporting of food consumption by the low-fat dieters,” the authors of the study concluded.


    Brehm B, Spang S, Lattin B, Seeley R, Daniels S, D’alessio D. The role of energy expenditure in the differential weight loss in obese women on low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Dec 14


    B. Brehm
    University of Cincinnati
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA

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