People who cut out carbs lose more weight than those on a high-carb diet right? Wrong…one more study confirms that a calorie is a calorie and it doesn’t matter if it comes from carbohydrates, protein or fat when it comes to weight loss.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied 811 overweight people for two years and put them on four different reduced-calorie diets. They found that people lost the same amount of weight on low carb, high protein or low fat diets as long as their total calorie intake was around the same level. The bottom line is that to lose weight, you just need to create a calorie deficit (consume less calories than you burn).
The good news with this study is that all foods can be included (with proper portion control) on a weight loss diet, and you can adjust your meal plan based on your dietary preferences. This helps to simplify things. However, when it comes to health, it does matter where your calories come from. You still want to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains to meet your nutrient needs and reduce your risk of certain types of diseases (i.e. heart disease, certain types of cancers and diabetes). The added bonus to including these foods is that it often makes it easier to stick to a calorie controlled diet because these foods are filled with fiber (which helps you to feel full) and they provide a lot of volume with out a lot of calories.
See Calorie Counters Have It Right, Diet Study Says for more information.