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How to Lose Weight Effectively: Avoid Low-Fat Diet After Weight Loss

Whitney | July 13th, 2012

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A new study suggests that after dieters learn how to lose weight effectively, they should avoid low-fat diets if they want to keep the excess weight off. The study showed that a low-glycemic diet might be a better bet for those who want to maintain healthy weight loss over the long term.

The study was authored by David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Ludwig is also a professor at Harvard Medical School. During the study, Ludwig and his colleagues looked at 21 obese and overweight adults between the ages of 18 and 40.

After test subjects lost 10-15 percent of their total body weight, they were split into three separate groups. One group was put on a low-fat diet, another on a low-glycemic diet and the third on a low-carbohydrate diet

Those who followed the low-fat diet saw the greatest increase in resting energy expenditure, or REE, which increased the risk for subsequent weight gain after weight loss goals were realized.

Meanwhile, those on a low-glycemic diet had a reduced risk of weight gain, and the low-carbohydrate dieters saw the least risk of all. Studies indicate that what a person eats after losing weight could be as significant a factor in healthy weight loss as learning how to lose weight effectively in the first place.

Healthy weight loss: not just calorie reduction

The results also offer evidence that calories are not created equal, at least when it comes to metabolic rate. Participants following the low-glycemic easy diets burned approximately 40 more calories while at rest than those on the low-fat diet. While not of the eating regimens would necessarily count as easy diets, those that burn more calories at rest are more likely to be sustained in the long run.

Low-carb eaters burned 70 more calories while at rest than those on the low-fat diet. However, the low-carb diet also increased the incidence of chronic inflammation and hormonal stress, which in turn heightened the risk of heart disease.

The low-glycemic diet effectively controlled hunger in dieters by promoting slower absorption of the sugars in foods. This benefit may play a key role in healthy weight loss maintenance, since it allows dieters to adhere to a lower calorie diet after weight loss goals are reached. Low-glycemic foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, and minimally processed grains. The total diet consists of 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent fat and 20 percent protein.

How to lose weight effectively long-term

Next, researchers will study how individuals respond to specific diets in the long-term, allowing physicians to tailor diets to a patient’s unique needs. This is the principle already followed in doctor-directed weight loss programs, such as those available at The Center for Medical Weight Loss. These centers eschew the false promises of get-thin-quick easy diets, and instead offer a customized approach to healthy weight loss that assists patients in achieving their weight loss goals quickly and safely. Average patients at CMWL are able to lose 11.1 percent of their total body weight in just 12 weeks.

With more than 450 centers nationwide, most dieters can find a location nearby. Enter your zip code in the box to see if there is a weight loss center near you. Special introductory offers are available at many locations.