Weight Loss Limitations of Low Carb Diets

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10. Weight Loss and Low Carb Diets

Extract from "Updated Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets Reported via an Online Registry" by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) (Dec, 2003)

Note: Numbers in brackets refer to research references. See Low Carb Eating References

Limitations on Weight Loss

Despite media accounts of seemingly dramatic weight loss, the effect of high-protein diets on body weight is similar to that of other weight-reduction diets. Three recent studies, one at Duke University, (1) a second at the University of Pennsylvania, (2) and a third at a Philadelphia medical center, (3) suggest that mean weight loss with high-protein diets during the first six months of use is approximately 20 pounds. While this weight loss is greater than that which occurs from diets not designed for weight loss (e.g., diets based on the Food Guide Pyramid or National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines), it is not demonstrably greater than that which occurs with other weight-loss regimens or with low-fat, vegetarian diets prescribed without energy restrictions. (30)

A closer look at the two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine comparing low-carbohydrate diets and conventional (moderately low-fat [25–30%], restricted-calorie) diets for weight loss in obese adult subjects shows that weight loss over six to 12 months was minimal on both types of diets. Weight loss amounted to about half a pound per week at six months and one-fifth a pound per week at one year on the low-carbohydrate diet. Weight loss was about one-quarter to one-fifth a pound per week at six months and about one-tenth a pound per week at one year on the conventional weight-loss diet. (2), (3)

In one of these studies, the difference in weight loss between the groups was no longer apparent at one year. (2) The short-term difference in weight loss between the diets can be explained in both studies by lower caloric intake for those on the low-carbohydrate diet as compared to those on the conventional weight-loss diets. This is consistent with a recent review of 107 research studies on low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets, which concluded that weight loss was associated with longer diet duration and reduction of calories, but not with reduced carbohydrate intake. (31) Seven registrants reported not losing or gaining weight while on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

INDEX to PCRM Low Carb Health Problems Report

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The PCRM Report:

Carbohydrates Definition
Carbohydrates Information
Complex Carbs Guide
Simple Carbs Guide
Starch/Starchy Carbohydrates
Sugars Carbohydrates
Carb Counting Guide
Facts About Carbohydrates
Diabetes, Carbs and Diet

Fiber in Diet
Dietary Fiber
Types of Fiber
Best Sources of Fiber
Benefits of Fiber
Daily Fiber Needs

Nutrition & Carbohydrate
Nutrition in Carbs
Minerals in Carbohydrates
Vitamins in Carbohydrates
Phytochemicals in Carbs

Carbs and Glycemic Index
Digestion of Carbs
Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose into Energy
What is Glycogen?
How is GI Measured?
What Affects Glycemic Value?
Glycemic Index Food Chart
Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
Glycemic Value of a Meal
GI Values in Carbohydrates
GI Value For Beans
GI Value For Bread
GI Value For Cereal
GI Value For Dairy Food
GI Value For Drinks
GI Value For Fruit
GI Value For Meat/Fish
GI Value For Nuts
GI Value For Snacks
GI Value For Starchy Carbs
GI Value For Sugar
GI Value For Vegetables
GI Value For Whole Grains

Carbohydrate in Foods
Atkins Diet Foods
Bagels
Beans/Legumes
Beer
Bread
Cereal
Cake
Candy/Chocolate
Chips
Cookies/Biscuits
Crackers
Donut
Dressings
Energy Bars
Flour/Baking Foods
Fruit
Grains
Ice Cream
Milk, Cream,Yogurt
Muffins
Noodles
Nuts/Seeds
Pancakes/Waffles

Carbs in Food cont/
Pasta
Pies
Pizza
Popcorn
Potatoes
Pretzels
Rice
Sauces
Soda
Soup
Soy Food
Sugars
Syrups
Vegetables
Zone Diet Foods

Diet Recipes
GI Diet Recipes
Low Carb Recipes

Carb-Controlled Diets
Atkins Diet
South Beach Diet
Zone Diet
Low Carb Dieting
Benefits of Low Carb Diets
Low Carb Diets Health Risks
Ketosis - High Ketones in Blood
Gluconeogenesis Guide
Free Low Carb Diet Advice
Low Carb Weight Loss Diet

Diabetes, Insulin, Obesity
Diabetes Information
Hyperglycemia - High Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Glucose
Obesity Information
Diabesity, Diabetes and Obesity
Insulin Information
Insulin and Obesity
Types of Insulin
Hyperinsulimia - High Insulin Levels
Insulin Resistance Syndrome


Carbs-Information.com provides general information about different types of carbohydrate, like monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, as well as nutritional value of carbohydrates, carb-content of foods, plus details of GI values of all food groups, plus advice about diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2018.