Did you know…that the secret to shedding pounds easily—and keeping them off—is to NOT cut out fat or carbohydrates?
The toughest challenge for those seeking to shed pounds is preventing weight re-gain. Research shows that only 1 in 6 overweight people will maintain even 10% of their weight loss long-term.
Now we know, thanks to groundbreaking new research, that this problem is the result of a total misunderstanding about how losing and gaining pounds really works.
Not All Calories Are Created Equal
A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of American Medical Association in June of this year ended the idea that a “calorie is a calorie” regardless of the food source.
The study was conducted by Cara Ebbeling, Ph.d. and David Ludwig, M.D., directors of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
The study’s results show that to the answer to keeping off pounds is not cutting calories, carbs, or fat. The secret is to choose foods that minimize blood sugar surges. These foods are fit into what’s called a low-glycemic index diet…which appears to be key to long-lasting key to maintain weight loss.
While Ludwig’s team was the first to explore the effects of low glycemic eating on long-term fat loss and maintin weight loss, the glycemic index (GI) itself is not new. Scientists have used it for almost 30 years to measure the influence of carb-heavy foods on physiology. The GI ranks all carbohydrate foods on a scale of 0-100. The higher the GI number, the faster your body will digest that food—and the steeper the spike in your blood sugar.
Low-scoring foods (under 55 points) are digested slowly, keeping your blood sugar and hormones stable. This helps you avoid the hunger rollercoaster cause by extremely high and low blood sugar levels…and it protects your overall health, as well.
Low-glycemic index foods include:
• Minimally processed grains
• Healthy fats
• Legumes and fruits
Overall, the low-glycemic diet calls for 40% of your daily calories to come from carbohydrates, 40% from fat, and 20% from protein.
The Dangers of Cutting Carbs or Fat
Dr. Ludwig’s study proved that drastically cutting out carbs or fat isn’t thte answer to shedding pounds and keeping them off.
For the study, 21 adult participants (ages 18-40) first had to lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight. Then, they were randomized to 4 weeks of maintenance on one of 3 eating plans:
- Low fat
- Low carb
- Low glycemic
The study used state-of-the-art methods to measure participants’ total energy expenditure and maintain weight loss.
- The low-carb approach improved metabolism most, but with serious disadvantages. Restricting carbs spiked the participants’ cortisol levels…which can lead to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. The low carb method also raised C-reactive protein levels (another risk factor for cardiovascular disease).
- The low-fat diet caused metabolism to slow down, and resulted in an unhealthy lipid pattern and insulin resistance.
- The low-glycemic index diet had similar benefits to the very low-carb diet, but none of the negative effects and heart-health risks of stress and inflammation.
“We believe that the low-glycemic index diets are easier to stick to [than low-fat or low-carb diets] on a day-to-day basis,” says Dr. Ludwig. “The low-glycemic index diet doesn’t eliminate entire classes of food, likely making it easier to follow and more sustainable.”