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  • Women lose twice as much weight with low-carb diet as low-fat: 18.7 lbs vs 8.6 lbs

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, October 25, 2010 9:39 am Email this article
    Women lose twice as much weight -- 18.7 lbs vs 8.6 lbs -- and twice as much body fat -- 10.6 lbs vs 4.4 lbs -- on a low-carbohydrate diet as a low-fat diet according to a recent study. Weight Loss

    Weight Loss: Low-Carb group lost 18.7 lbs vs 8.6 lbs for Low-Fat group

    Women in the low-carbohydrate group lost an average of 18.7 pounds compared to 8.6 pounds for those in the low-fat group.


    Fat Loss

    Fat Loss: Low-Carb lost 10.6 lbs bs 4.4 lbs with low-fat

    Women in the low-carbohydrate group lost an average of 10.6 pounds of body fat compared to 4.4 pounds in the low-fat group.



    Diet: Low-Carb limited to 20 grams of carbs; Low-Fat limited to 30% Fat, low-calorie diet

    Women in the low-carbohydrate group restricted carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day, but were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

    After 2 weeks of dieting, women in the low-carb group were allowed to increase their intake of carbohydrate to 40 to 60 grams per day only if self-testing of urinary ketones continued to indicate ketosis.

    (Ketosis indicates that the body is burning fat for fuel.)

    Women in the low-fat group were instructed to limit fat intake to 30 percent of calories and reduce calorie intake according to their body size. They don’t say exactly how much the women were to reduce calorie intake, but I assume that it was a reduction of 500 calories per day. I say this because they mention that during the first few weeks, that weight loss in the low-fat group is what you would expect if calorie intake were reduced by about 400 calories per day. A decrease of 500 calories per day should cause a weight loss of 1 pound per week (500 calories x 7 days = 3500 calories or roughly 1 pound).


    Calorie Intake

    Calorie Intake: Low-Carb ate 1600 calories per day vs 1700 calories for low-fat group

    Calorie intake of the two groups was similar: an average of 1608 calories per day in the low-carbohydrate group compared to 1707 calories per day in the low-fat group.


    Calories Reduced

    Low-Carb Group Reduced Calorie Intake By 450 Calories Per Day

    Although they were not asked to reduce calorie intake, women in the low-carbohydrate group decreased their intake by an average of 450 calories per day.

    After three months, the women in the low-carbohydrate group were eating an average of 15 percent of calories as carbohydrates, 28 percent protein, and 57 percent fat.

    In contrast, the low-fat diet group ate an average of 54 percent of calories as carbohydrate, 18 percent protein, and 28 percent fat.



    Subjects: 53 Obese Women

    The study involved 53 healthy, obese women (40 whites and 13 blacks) with an average body mass index of 33.6.


    Completed Study

    79% Finished Study

    Forty-two of the 53 completed the study (79 percent).


    Brehm B, Seeley R, Daniels S, D’alessio D. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Apr, 88(4):1617-23.


    Bonnie Brehm
    University of Cincinnati and
    Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0038, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Feb 25, 2005 at 10:42 am Jon Peterson wrote:

    . . . . .

    I posted these comments on another study comparing low carb and "low fat" diets. Because they are applicable to this study as well, I have copied my previous comments to this board.

    I work as a personal trainer for an adolescent boarding school designed to help teenagers lose weight. We use a low fat diet and see tremendous results, results that far surpass these low carb numbers, without the adverse side effects. (In a 6 month time period we have seen up to 30% decrease in total body weight, and as much as 155 lbs lost) The key is to define what a low fat diet truly is, and in our case, that is 7-15 grams of fat per day with a calorie intake similar to the patients listed here. In this study, patients were eating 30% of their calories from fat! For the average person eating what they monitor to be 1500 calories, we are looking at 50 grams of fat per day! Human error in self monitoring calorie intake is highly likely, as most people greatly underestimate this aspect of weight loss, and those fat intake numbers could be pushing 70 grams per day with a 2000 calorie diet. This study is highly flawed in comparing low fat to low carb. Low carb diets will work better than a diet containing 50 plus grams of fat per day, but cannot compare to a true low fat nutritional plan.

    -Jon Peterson

    On Feb 28, 2005 at 9:58 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

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