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Weight Loss

Which Diet Is Best for Weight Loss: Low Carb or Low Fat?

Low-fat diets are frequently used to promote weight loss and enhance fat burning.

Low-carb diets, however, might be just as effective, according to new studies. Additionally, low-carb diets have been shown to support fat loss, reduce hunger, and preserve blood sugar homeostasis.

Which is, therefore, the best for losing weight? You might be questioning.

This article compares low-carb and low-fat diets to assess how they affect weight.

fundamentals of each diet

Even though low-carb and low-fat diets are meant to help you lose weight, they are structured differently.

a diet low in carbs

There are several levels of carbohydrate restriction in low-carb diets. They consist of:

  • Deficient carbohydrate diets: 20–50 grams of carbs per day on a 2,000-calorie diet, or less than 10% of total daily calories.
  • Low-carbohydrate eating plans: less than 26% of daily calories, or less than 130 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet.
  • Diets high in moderate carbs: 26-44% of daily calories

Be aware that deficient carbohydrate diets are frequently ketogenic, which severely limits carbohydrate consumption to cause ketosis, a metabolic state when your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Items like baked goods, candies, sweets, and beverages with added sugar are often prohibited on low-carb diets. Some versions might also restrict valuable sources of carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables, high-carb fruits, pasta, and legumes.

You should simultaneously boost your protein and fat intake when eating healthful foods like fish, meat, eggs, nuts, high-fat dairy, natural oils, and non-starchy vegetables.

Which one is healthier for you?

The effects of low-carb and low-fat diets on weight loss and several other health factors have been compared in numerous studies.

Loss of weight

Most evidence points to low-carb diets as perhaps more successful for rapid weight loss than low-fat diets.

An older, 6-month research of 132 obese individuals found that those who followed a low-carb diet lost more weight than those who followed a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet by more than three times.

In short 12-week research, overweight adolescents who followed a low-carb diet lost an average of 21.8 pounds (9.9 kg), compared to those who followed a low-fat diet and dropped only 9 pounds (4.1 kg).

Similarly, a 2-year trial provided 322 adults with obesity with either low fat, low carb, or Mediterranean diet. Low-carbohydrate participants lost 10.4 pounds (4.7 kg), low-fat participants 6.4 pounds (2.9 kg), and Mediterranean participants 9.7 pounds (4.4 kg).

However, another study indicates that low-carb and low-fat diets can have comparable long-term efficacy.

A study of 17 research found that participants on a low-carb diet lost considerably more weight than those on a low-fat diet. After a year, the low-carb diet was still more effective, but the gap between the two gradually shrank.

In addition, a 2-year trial of 61 people with diabetes found no differences in weight loss between low-carb and low-fat diets.

Finding a diet, you can stick to may be the key to successful weight control, according to a comprehensive meta-analysis of 48 research that indicated that low fat and low carb diets resulted in similar weight reduction.

Slim down

Most studies show that low-carb diets are more effective for losing fat.

In a modest, 16-week trial, it was discovered that low-carb, low-calorie dieters reduced their total body fat mass and abdominal fat more than low-fat dieters.

Similar results were found in 148-person research conducted over a year.

Furthermore, additional research indicates that low-carb diets are more effective at reducing belly fat than low-fat diets.

Additionally, one study of 14 research discovered that deficient carbohydrate diets decreased fat mass in obese people.

Appetite and hunger

Studies typically demonstrate that compared to low-fat diets, low carb, high protein diets reduce sensations of hunger and increase mood, making them possibly simpler to follow over the long run.

For example, one study in 148 individuals found that a low-fat diet with higher reductions in levels of peptide YY, a hormone that suppresses hunger and encourages fullness, than a low-carbohydrate diet (18Trusted Source).

It might be because protein and fat are satiating. Both of these macronutrients help you feel full for a more extended period by delaying emptying your stomach.

Numerous hormones that regulate hunger and appetite have also been proven to be impacted by protein and fat.

In short research, high-protein and high-fat meals reduced the hunger hormone ghrelin levels and elevated levels of the fullness hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) more than a high-carb meal.

levels of blood sugar

Low blood sugar levels might make you feel more peckish and have significant side effects like trembling, exhaustion, and unexpected weight fluctuations.

One tactic to help manage blood sugar levels is limiting carb intake.

A low-carb diet outperformed a low-fat diet in one trial of 56 persons with type 2 diabetes regulating blood sugar, accelerating weight reduction, and lowering insulin requirements.

Only the low-carb diet was found to lower circulating insulin levels, raising insulin sensitivity in minor research, including 31 individuals.

The ability of your body to get sugar from the bloodstream into your cells and maintain better blood sugar control can be improved by increased insulin sensitivity.

However, despite a 3-month trial in 102 people with diabetes showing that a low-carb diet is superior to a low-fat diet for weight loss, there was no discernible difference in blood sugar levels.

Therefore, additional study is required to determine how low-carb and low-fat diets affect blood sugar levels.

The conclusion

Low-fat diets are regarded as a well-liked weight loss strategy.

However, low-carb diets are associated with more significant weight loss in the short term, as well as increased fat loss, decreased hunger, and improved blood sugar regulation.

Studies demonstrate that low-carb diets can be just as effective for weight reduction as low-fat diets and may even provide several extra health benefits. However, more research is required to determine the long-term consequences of each diet.

Remember that maintaining a consistent eating pattern over time is one of the most critical aspects of success with weight reduction and general health, regardless of whether you go for a low-carb or low-fat diet.