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    Low-carb diet causes twice as much weight loss after three months and six months: 15 lbs vs 7 lbs


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, October 25, 2010 11:19 am Email this article
    People lost twice as much weight after three months and six months on a high-protein, low-carb diet than a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, but the difference in weight loss was not significantly different after one year according to the first randomized, controlled trial of a low-carb diet that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    People lost more weight after three months and six months on a high-protein, low-carb diet than a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet according to the first randomized, controlled trial of a low-carb diet that was published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine.

    Weight Loss After 3 Months

    Weight Loss After 3 Months: 15 lbs vs 6 lbs

    After three months, people on the low-carb diet had lost 15 pounds versus 5.9 pounds for those on the low-fat diet.

    As a percent of body weight this represented 6.8 percent versus 2.7 percent.

     

    Weight Loss After 6 Months

    Weight Loss After 6 Months: 15 lbs vs 7 lbs

    After one year, people on the low-carb diet had maintained a weight loss of 9.7 pounds compared to 5.5 pounds for those on the low-fat diet, however, the difference in weight loss was not statistically significant. There was a 26 percent chance that the difference in weight loss was due to random chance, and a 74 percent chance it was due to the difference in the diets.

    As a percent of body weight this represented 7 percent versus 3.2 percent.

    Weight Loss After One Year: 15 lbs VS 7 lbs

    After six months, people on the low-carb diet had lost 15.4 pounds compared to 7 pounds for those on the low-fat diet.

    As a percent of body weight this represented 4.4 percent versus 2.5 percent.

     

    LDL

    LDL: No difference between groups after three months

    After three months, there was no significant differences between the groups in levels of total or LDL cholesterol.

    After three months, LDL had increased by 5 percent in the low-carb and decreased by 7 percent in the low-fat group. However, after one year, LDL was nearly unchanged from the baseline in the low-carb group compared to a 3 percent drop in the low-fat group.

     

    HDL

    HDL: Increase in the low-carb group

    HDL levels increased in the low-carb group, but not in the low-fat group: +10 percent versus +1 percent after three months; +15 percent versus +3 percent after six months; and +11 percent versus plus 2 percent after one year.

    Triglycerides dropped more in the low-carb group than the low-fat group: -17 mg/dL vs +1 mg/dL after one year.

     

    Blood Pressure

    Diastolic blood pressure dropped in both groups

    Both diets significantly decreased diastolic blood pressure by 3-4 mmHg.

    Systolic blood pressure did not change significantly in either group.

     

    Insulin

    Insulin response dropped in both groups

    Both diets significantly decreased the insulin response to an oral glucose load. Total insulin release decreased by 14 percent versus 11 percent after three months; 15 percent versus 5 percent after six months; and 11 percent versus 8 percent after one year.

     

    Dropouts

    Dropouts: 15% vs 30% after 3 months; 27% vs 40% after 6 months; 39% vs 43% after one year

    Adherence was poor and attrition was high in both groups, however, fewer people in the low-carb group dropped out of the study during the first six months.

    After three months, 15 percent of those in the low-carb group had drop out of the study compared to 30 percent of the low-fat group.

    After six months, 27 percent of those in the low-carb group had drop out of the study compared to 40 percent of the low-fat group.

    After one year, 39 percent of those in the low-carb group had drop out of the study compared to 43 percent of the low-fat group.

    Overall, 59 percent of the people completed the study.

    Eighty-eight percent of those who completed six months went on to complete one year.

     

    Subjects

    Subjects: 63 obese men and women

    The study involved 63 obese men and women (20 men and 43 women) who were randomly assigned to either a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet or a low-calorie, high-carbohydrate, low-fat (conventional) diet.

    Their average age was 44, and their average body mass index was 34.

    Professional contact was minimal to replicate the approach used by most dieters.

     

    Low-Carb Diet

    Low-Carb Diet: 20 Grams The First Two Weeks

    People in the low-carb group were instructed to limit carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day for the first two weeks and then it was gradually increased until a stable and desired weight was achieved.

    There was restriction on fat or protein intake.

    They were also given a copy of the book Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, and told to follow the diet as described in the book.

     

    Low-Fat Diet

    Low-Fat Diet: 25 Percent Fat, 1200-1500 Calories For Women, 1500-1800 Calories For Men

    People in the low-fat group were assigned to eat a diet containing 25 percent of calories as fat, 15 percent at protein, and 60 percent as carbohydrates.

    Women were assigned to eat a diet of 1200 to 1500 calories per day, and men 1500 to 1800 calories per day.

    Reference

    Foster G, Wyatt H, Hill J, Mcguckin B, Brill C, Mohammed B, Szapary P, Rader D, Edman J, Klein S. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 22, 348(21):2082-90.

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