Preliminary results from Chris Gardner’s follow-up to this study suggest insulin resistance may not be as big an influence on the success of LC/LF diets as prior studies have shown. Maybe I was wrong.
We aren’t given many details in the abstract or interviews, and there are still some good studies showing otherwise (eg, those by Cornier, Pittas, Ebbeling, and Gardner himself), although this one is bigger (n = 609) and longer (1 year). However, the range of weight change was huge, something like +20 lbs to -80 lbs, so the devil might be in the details… time will tell. Might be subtle yet important changes in body comp or other metabolic indicators.
If it turns out to be true, my best guess: they were all following Hunger-Free Diet(s)… which work regardless of whether low fat or low carb.
Evidence (mostly from quotes in this article):
1) “So we just said, ‘Eat as low as you can on fat or carbs and don’t be hungry.’” And, whether they cut fat or carbs, “each group reported a 500-calorie reduction.”
Spontaneous appetite reduction is a key indicator of Hunger-Free Diet(s).
2) “In some older studies, when researchers told people to eat less fat, they weren’t particular about which low-fat foods. Coke and white flour and sugar are low-fat.”
Hunger-Free Diet(s) are all about food quality, not macros.
3) “We told everyone in both groups to eat as little white flour and sugar and as many higher-fiber vegetables as possible.”
The abstract can be found here on page 90 and I’ve copied it below.
Low fat: 48% / 29% / 21%
Low carb: 30% / 45% / 23%
The study was big: 1 year, >600 people… not gonna have many participants achieve full-on nutritional ketosis. That’s not what they were asked to do.
It’s ad lib, IRL. That is what the study was designed to assess.