It started out as “lose weight without hunger on LCHF” and went all the way to “effortless fasting on keto.” Works for some and it might be true, but the same can be said for low fat diets! The key, I think, in both contexts, is simple: fewer processed & refined foods… something the Paleo movement got right, imo (although I still think many low-calorie sweeteners are way less unhealthy than HFCS & sugar).
1) add “good calories” like almonds to your diet and appetite spontaneously compensates by eating less other stuff: energy neutral
2) you don’t compensate for added “bad calories” like sugar-sweetened beverages: positive energy balance
3) remove bad calories from your diet and you don’t compensate by eating more other stuff: negative energy balance
Book: Good Calories, Bad Calories
Exhibit A. Effects of a low-glycemic load vs low-fat diet in obese young adults (Ebbeling et al., 2007)
Low GI diet: 40% carb, 35% fat, 25% protein
Low fat diet: 55% carb, 20% fat, 25% protein
AD LIB. AD LIB. AD LIB.
“Rather, hunger and satiety cues were discussed and participants were advised as follows: ‘Eat when you are hungry, before you become famished. Stop eating when you are satisfied, before you become stuffed.‘” GOOD ADVICE
Both groups ate more protein and fibre-rich foods.
Switching from their Crappy Diet to one with fewer refined foods resulted in similar spontaneous declines in appetite and food intake regardless of diet group assignment. And both groups were equally satisfied with their diets = #winning
And they all lost weight:
Exhibit B. Weight loss on low-fat vs. low carbohydrate diets by insulin resistance status among overweight adults and adults with obesity: a randomized pilot trial (Gardner et al., 2016)
Low(ish) carb diet: 22% carb, 53% fat, 25% protein
Low(ish) fat diet: 57% carb, 21% fat, 22% protein
AD LIB. AD LIB. AD LIB.
Appetite spontaneously declined by like, 600 kcals in all groups!
Compliance and adherence were equally good:
What’s next: “effortless weight loss with LF” ??? [no please just stop with these tag-lines]
There are many successful dietary patterns and they all seem to have one thing in common: cut out processed and refined foods. Whether you’ll do better on one over the other may depend on biological factors like circadian rhythms, insulin sensitivity, or more simply: personal preference. More whole food sources of protein and fibre seem to work well also. Because #science.
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