Low Fat Diet Best for Long-term Weight Loss

The battle between low fat and low carb continues. A study recently concluded that the low fat approach results in better long-term results. Using the National Weight Control Registry,which tracks the secrets of success from people who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept them off for at least a year. The registry is run by doctors from the University of Pittsburgh and Brown University in Providence, R.I. and the University of Colorado in Denver. (I’m on this registry, and receive semi-annual questionnaires which they use to track weight control over the long-term).

Twice a year the National Weight Control Registry asks participants about their eating and exercise habits. Recent findings appear to support the conclusion that, “People who started eating more fat … regained the most weight over time,” said Suzanne Phelan, a Brown Medical School psychologist who presented results of the study Monday at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

Experts Weigh In with Opinions on Low Fat vs. Low Carb

Other experts had differing opinions: Dr. Thomas Wadden, a University of Pennsylvania weight loss expert who was not involved in the study, said it is too soon to say which approach is better. Several longer-term studies of low-carb and low-fat dieters are in the works, he said. But he did say, “I do think that people who are keeping the weight off are eating a low-fat, high-carb diet.”

Colette Heimowitz, a nutrition expert and spokeswoman for the Atkins diet organization, noted that the study considered 90 grams to be low-carb, while Atkins recommends 60 grams for weight loss and 60 to 120 for weight maintenance.

She said that for many of the dieters studied, “the carbs aren’t low enough for them to be successful.” They also should have replaced carbs with more protein rather than fat, she said.

Should I Eat Low Fat or Low Carb?

Frankly, I think it’s best to eat what you enjoy, watch portions especially if you eat meals in restaurants, limit treats and get your body moving. The more active you are the better.