When it comes to weight loss, low-fat diets are often recommended, but new research suggests they are no different than other popular diets. Study lead, Deirdre Tobias, said, “We found that low-fat diets were not more effective than higher-fat diets for long-term weight loss.”
The researchers suggest greater weight loss success has more to do with adhering to the weight-loss plan. Tobias added, “Being able to stick to a diet in the long term will probably predict whether or not a diet is successful for weight loss.”
In the analysis the researchers looked at 53 published studies involving over 68,000 adults. What they found was that those on low-fat diets did not lose weight, but those on low-carbohydrate diets were two pounds lighter than those on low-fat diets after one year. Across all diet groups the average weight loss was six pounds.
Tobias suggests that not one weight-loss plan reigns supreme over another, but it has more to do with adherence to the plan itself. She further suggests that for anyone wanting to lose weight they should find a plan that fits their own personal needs and not something administered to the masses.
Connie Diekman from Washington University added, “The result of this study on diet composition and weight loss seems to support results that have been observed in other studies. The conclusion from this, and similar studies, is that weight loss is not a result of limiting one calorie nutrient over another, and that achieving weight loss is likely a matter of calorie control, in a manner that works for the individual.”
Diekman points out the study did have some limitations, such as many of the studies had high drop-out rates, which does not reveal if the diet was challenging to follow or not.
Diekman advises that those seeking to lose weight should speak with a dietician for a personalized plan and to add exercise to any diet program you may be on.
The findings were published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.