T Nation

High Carb/Low Fat Diet!

What!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=571&e=3&u=/nm/carbs_diet_dc

Basically says you can lose more fat by doing a high carb, low fat diet than a lower carb, higher fat diet…(ie, atkins)…

What do you all think about this? Could they be right? Is the study too small? hmm…

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Just when it seemed weight-loss information couldn’t get more confusing, a small study suggests that people who shun the popular low-carb diet and eat lots of carbohydrates – but avoid fats – can shed pounds. And that’s without even cutting calories or exercising.

In Yahoo! Health

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Among 34 overweight people who followed different regimens for three months, those who were told to eat a high-carb, low-fat diet until they were no longer hungry lost 7 pounds. Adding moderate exercise to the diet increased weight loss to 11 pounds.

High-carb eaters also lost a higher percentage of body fat and experienced a larger decrease in thigh size than people who followed a diet that was lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat.

On average, people following the lower-carb diet did not lose any weight during the study period, the authors report in the Archives of Internal Medicine (news - web sites).

“If you just simply reduce fat in the diet, and allow people to eat as much carbohydrates as they want, they lose weight,” Dr. William J. Evans of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences told Reuters Health.

These findings appear at a time when the Atkins diet and other low-carb fare are more popular than ever. However, some researchers and health professionals remain skeptical of low-carb diets, especially the Atkins diet, which has been criticized for touting the benefits of liberal amounts of steak, eggs and fatty foods linked with increased cholesterol and heart disease.

The current study involved 34 people, an average of 66 years old, who were sedentary, overweight nonsmokers. One group of people ate what Evans described as a “typical” American diet: roughly 40 percent fat and 45 percent carbohydrates. The others consumed a diet that contained around 20 percent fat, 60 percent carbohydrate and 20 percent protein.

All participants were provided with all meals, and returned any uneaten portions so that the researchers could measure precisely how many calories they consumed.

In an interview, Evans said that people from all groups ate around 2500 calories per day, roughly the recommended amount for their size. This suggests that they did, in fact, eat only until they were no longer hungry, he noted.

The high-carb diet likely helped people lose weight because they ate the same amount that they normally did, but less fat, Evans noted. “Despite what corporate America may be telling you these days, decreasing fat intake is still the best way to lose weight,” he said.

Although Evans conceded that the popular low-carb diets may, in fact, help people lose weight, they do so by inducing a process in the body that curbs appetite. Consequently, once people abandon the diet, their appetite can increase, causing them to gain back what they once lost, Evans said.

In contrast, a high-carb diet does not appear to change appetite, enabling you to shed excess pounds for good, he noted. “The lower fat, high carbohydrate diet is essentially one you can follow for the rest of your life,” Evans said.

American Dietetic Association spokesperson Katherine Tallmadge agreed that cutting back on fat is a good weight-loss strategy, but noted that people should not change their eating habits because of one study. Different diets work for different people, she said, and the key is to find one that you can follow and enjoy. “You can probably lose weight another way, too,” Tallmadge noted.

And although high-carb eaters shed pounds without exercise and without counting calories, Tallmadge pointed out that the best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy amount and to try to burn off your food with exercise.

“In the end, (overeating and avoiding exercise) is doomed to fail,” she said.

Try a high carb diet for 4 weeks. Try a low one for 4 weeks. See which one works best for you.

“Tallmadge pointed out that the best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy amount and to try to burn off your food with exercise.”

“In the end, (overeating and avoiding exercise) is doomed to fail,” she said.

That says it all.

Here’s the actual study:

Some thoughts: 45%CHO and 14%PRO is not the typical definition of a “low-carb” diet.

The “high-carb” group got 26g fiber per 1000kCal. At a typical 2,000kCal/day, that’s a shit-load of fiber (pun intended). I’m pretty sure I would lose weight too.

Not much difference between the high-carb and high-carb + aerobic group, either.


Effects of an Ad Libitum Low-Fat, High-Carbohydrate Diet on Body Weight, Body Composition, and Fat Distribution in Older Men and Women

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nicholas P. Hays, PhD; Raymond D. Starling, PhD; Xiaolan Liu, MD; Dennis H. Sullivan, MD; Todd A. Trappe, PhD; James D. Fluckey, PhD; William J. Evans, PhD

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:210-217.

Background The efficacy of ad libitum low-fat diets in reducing body weight and fat in overweight and obese adults remains controversial.

Methods We examined the effect of a 12-week low-fat, high?complex carbohydrate diet alone (HI-CHO) and in combination with aerobic exercise training (HI-CHO + EX) on body weight and composition in 34 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (20 women and 14 men; mean ? SEM age, 66 ? 1 years). Participants were randomly assigned to a control diet (41% fat, 14% protein, 45% carbohydrates, and 7 g of fiber per 1000 kcal), a HI-CHO diet (18% fat, 19% protein, 63% carbohydrates, and 26 g of fiber per 1000 kcal), or a HI-CHO diet plus endurance exercise 4 d/wk, 45 min/d, at 80% peak oxygen consumption (HI-CHO + EX). Participants were provided 150% of estimated energy needs and were instructed to consume food ad libitum. Total food intake, body composition, resting metabolic rate, and substrate oxidation were measured.

Results There was no significant difference in total food intake among the 3 groups and no change in energy intake over time. The HI-CHO + EX and HI-CHO groups lost more body weight (?4.8 ? 0.9 kg [P = .003] and ?3.2 ? 1.2 kg [P = .02]) and a higher percentage of body fat (?3.5% ? 0.7% [P = .01] and ?2.2% ? 1.2% [P = .049]) than controls (?0.1 ? 0.6 kg and 0.2% ? 0.6%). In addition, thigh fat area decreased in the HI-CHO (P = .003) and HI-CHO + EX (P<.001) groups compared with controls. High carbohydrate intake and weight loss did not result in a decreased resting metabolic rate or reduced fat oxidation.

Conclusion A high-carbohydrate diet consumed ad libitum, with no attempt at energy restriction or change in energy intake, results in losses of body weight and body fat in older men and women.

From the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Exercise Laboratory, Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock. Dr Starling is now with Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton, Conn. The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

RELATED ARTICLES IN ARCHIVES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE

In This Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine
Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:123.
FULL TEXT

That study does not prove anything because the ‘typical american’ diet used was high fat, moderate carb and low protein!!

Just about everyone agrees that this is the worst way to eat! Any diet low fat or low carb would work better than this. And protein intake on the high carb diet would be too low for anyone trying to save muscle mass by doing some form of weight training.

Absolute bullshit article.

~SC~

isnt this what all the fat people did in the 80’s and 90’s?

Yep, another incomplete hogwash study/article. Average age of 66? Impaired glucose tolerance (can you say type 2?). This demographic really represents entire population distribution.

So can I interpret that as 80% glucose, 10% fat, 10% protein?

There was a thread on this same study yesterday. (“A new diet craze in the works” - though it definitely wouldn’t be new.)

This study doesn’t do much to answer the proposed question. The control diet had less protein and much less fiber than the high-carbohydrate diet. Since fiber and protein both affect satiety, this is an obvious confound.

Also, the control diet, at 45% carbs, is no comparison to an Atkins-type diet.

Also the observation effect is a huge potential problem for ad libitum diets. People behave differently when their behavior is measured and recorded.

If the study authors really wanted to compare a low-fat, high-carb diet with a low-carb, high-fat diet, why didn’t they do so directly?

I think the results are erroneous. I am on a high carb diet, if thats what you want to call it, but I cut calories and work my ass off. My macronutrient precentages aren’t the same, mine are 50% carb 30% protein 20% fat.
The way I look at it though is if you don’t if something works or not, try it out and see what happens. I do like the low carb diets when I want to drop my bf% in quick period of time, but this time I wanted to take it slow and try and gain some strength. So far I have lost 10 lbs. and I am getting stronger.

In the end it’s more about energy balance than anything. If you have more out than in, you’re going to lose weight. There is not one best diet. There are many dietary approaches to fat loss which range from the obvious low carb variety all the way to the highER carb variety.

I agree with what Thunder said because of a real world example about high carbohydrate/low fat diets and energy balance.

The staple food in my country is rice; 99% of the population eat rice with every meal. This rice is not wild, unpolished rice but it is white, polished rice (which is higher on the glycemic index). Because a lot of people are inactive (office work in airconditioned rooms and no regular exercise) and consume this food, they are soft and flabby.

However, the construction workers and farmers who expend a lot of energy because their job is heavy manual physical labor (plowing fields, hauling bags and bags of cement, carrying steel, etc.), have ripped, relatively massive and functional physiques (can engage in what can be considered high intensity work for a prolonged time).

What’s even more interesting is the fact that most of these people smoke daily, drink a lot of alcohol every weekend, and certainly do not get even .75 gm of protein per pound of bodyweight.

They are not genetic freaks for the simple reason that you cannot call someone a freak if he or she is similar to the majority of the population.

Summary:

They eat tons of carbs and little fat but because they burn the calories that come from them, they have great looking bodies.