We’re pretty fine with this, tbh
There was a time when we believed every calorie was the same, then the Atkins diet came along and told us that carbs were the devil, swiftly followed by the 5:2 diet (you know, the one that revolves around serious calorie counting for two non-consecutive days a week and all-out eating the other five days) and things got a bit too confusing for our liking.
To try and sort food fact from food fiction, enter nutrition expert Dr. David Ludvig, who has brought evidence to the table which suggests that our bodies do treat different calories differently, and he believes that eating more fat is the key to losing weight.
Dr. Ludvig’s study for his book Always Hungry? took 21 young, healthy adults with high BMIs, brought their BMIs down by 10-15 percent and then split them into three groups for a month long trial period.
Each group was allowed to have the same amount of calories, just the food groups were altered. The first group was 20 per cent low-fat, 60 per cent carbs; the second group was 60 per cent fat; and the third group was 40 per cent fat, 40 per cent carbs.
The result? The findings from the study show that the high fat, low carb plan was the most effective – with an extra 325 calories being burnt from following this plan.
‘Energy expenditure (metabolism/calorie burning) plummeted on the low fat diet,’ Dr. Ludvig explains. ‘On the low carb (high fat) diet, energy expenditure – metabolic rate – didn’t drop at all. Despite the weight loss, a low carb diet had completely abolished the negative effects of weight loss. Meta-training diet was in the middle.’
While it’s long been stated that all fat, low carb diets aren’t good for you in the long run, with variety being the key (we always stick to the ‘a little bit of what you fancy’ plan), the study does prove that obsessing over calories is not the most effective way to enjoyably lose weight and stay healthy.
‘If you simply focus on calorie restriction with the wrong food, you’re going to be setting up a battle with mind and metabolism that you’re likely doomed to lose.’
Now that we understand.