Low Carb Diet and Weight Loss

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Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial

"The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors."

Abstract: Bazzano LA, Hu T, Reynolds K, Yao L, Bunol C, Liu Y, et al. Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:309-318. doi:10.7326/M14-0180


Effect of ketogenic mediterranean diet with phytoextracts and low carbohydrates/high-protein meals on weight, cardiovascular risk factors, body composition and diet compliance in Italian council employees

"There are though many studies that demonstrate that VLCK diets are more effective than low fat or standard Mediterranean diets, at least over the short term [21], and the main aims of the present initial study were to assess safety aspects, acceptance & palatability and weight loss & biomarker changes. We are able to conclude that at least in the short term it was able to lead to positive changes including the reduction of fasting blood glucose, improvements in lipid profiles, significant and rapid weight and fat loss with the preservation of lean mass."

Full Text: Paoli et al, Effect of ketogenic mediterranean diet with phytoextracts and low carbohydrates/high-protein meals on weight, cardiovascular risk factors, body composition and diet compliance in Italian council employees. Nutr J. 2011; 10: 112.


A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet vs Orlistat Plus a Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss

"In a sample of medical outpatients, an LCKD led to similar improvements as O + LFD for weight, serum lipid, and glycemic parameters and was more effective for lowering blood pressure."

Full Text: Yancy WS, Jr, Westman EC, McDuffie JR, et al. A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet vs Orlistat Plus a Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(2):136-145. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.492.


Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet

"Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets may be effective alternatives to low-fat diets. The more favorable effects on lipids (with the low-carbohydrate diet) and on glycemic control (with the Mediterranean diet) suggest that personal preferences and metabolic considerations might inform individualized tailoring of dietary interventions."

Full Text: Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. N Engl J Med. 2008;359:229-241.


Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum

"In the short term, high-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets reduce hunger and lower food intake significantly more than do high-protein, medium-carbohydrate nonketogenic diets."

Abstract: Johnstone et al, Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. Am J Clin Nutr.2008; 87: 44-55


A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects

"Analysis was by intention to treat with last observation carried forward. Twenty-two of the participants (85%) completed the study. Weight loss was greater (6.9 vs. 2.1 kg, P = 0.003) in the low-carbohydrate group, with no difference in changes in HbA1c, ketone or lipid levels."

Abstract: Dyson et al, A low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Diabetic Medicine 24 (12), 1430-1435 doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2007.02290.x


Three-year weight change in successful weight losers who lost weight on a low-carbohydrate diet

"It is possible to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss using a low-carbohydrate diet. The long-term health effects of weight loss associated with a high-fat diet and low activity level merits further investigation."

Full Text: Phelan et al, Three-Year Weight Change in Successful Weight Losers Who Lost Weight on a Low-Carbohydrate Diet. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Oct;15(10):2470-7.


Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women

"In this study, premenopausal overweight and obese women assigned to follow the Atkins diet, which had the lowest carbohydrate intake, lost more weight and experienced more favorable overall metabolic effects at 12 months than women assigned to follow the Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets."

Full Text: Christopher D. Gardner et. al., "Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women", JAMA. 2007;297:969-977.


Physiogenomic analysis of weight loss induced by dietary carbohydrate restriction

"A strong association between weight loss induced by dietary CHO restriction and variability in genes regulating fat digestion, hepatic glucose metabolism, intravascular lipoprotein remodeling, and appetite were detected. These discoveries could provide clues to important physiologic adaptations underlying the body mass response to CHO restriction."

Full Text: Ruano et al, Physiogenomic analysis of weight loss induced by dietary carbohydrate restriction. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 May 15;3:20.


Comparison of High-Fat and High-Protein Diets with a High-Carbohydrate diet in Insulin-Resistant Obese Women

"Aims/hypothesis A diet low in saturated fatty acids and rich in wholegrains, vegetables and fruit is recommended in order to reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. However there is widespread interest in high-fat (ldquoAtkins Dietrdquo) and high-protein (ldquoZone Dietrdquo) alternatives to the conventional high-carbohydrate, high-fibre approach. We report on a randomised trial that compared these two alternative approaches with a conventional diet in overweight insulin-resistant women."

Full Text: McAuley, K.A., Hopkins, C.M., Smith, K.J., et. al., "Comparison of High-Fat and High-Protein Diets with a High-Carbohydrate diet in Insulin-Resistant Obese Women," Diabetologia, 48(1), 2005, pages 8-16

The Role of Energy Expenditure in the Differential Weight Loss in Obese Women on Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets

"In summary, we have demonstrated that women consuming a low-carbohydrate diet lose more weight than women consuming a low-fat diet over several months. The more pronounced weight loss in the low-carbohydrate dieters is not explained by increased REE, TEF, or physical activity and cannot be accounted for by their reported energy intakes."

Full Text: Brehm et al, The Role of Energy Expenditure in the Differential Weight Loss in Obese Women on Low-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Mar;90(3):1475-82. Epub 2004 Dec 14.

Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women

"In summary, this study showed greater weight loss and fat loss preferentially from the trunk region in subjects on a closely monitored free-living VLCK diet compared to a LF diet. These diets were prescribed to be energy restricted and isocaloric. The superiority of the VLCK diet over the LF diet was most dramatic for men, but when individual responses were examined, a group of women clearly showed metabolic advantage as well. Indeed, 12/13 women experienced greater fat loss in the trunk region during the VLCK diet compared to the low-fat diet. Such a response is consistent with a metabolic advantage of VLCK diets."

Full Text: Volek et al, Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004 Nov 8;1(1):13.


A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia

"Over 24 weeks, a low-carbohydrate diet program led to greater weight loss, reduction in serum triglyceride level, and increase in HDL cholesterol level compared with a low-fat diet. These effects on weight loss and serum triglyceride level are similar to those in 4 randomized, controlled trials of the low-carbohydrate diet (7-10). The serum HDL cholesterol level also increased in 1 of these studies (9). The magnitude of weight loss that we observed compares favorably with that achieved with use of weight loss medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, such as orlistat (decrease of about 9% at 6 months) (18, 19) and sibutramine (decrease of about 8% at 6 months) (20)."

Full Text: Yancy et al, A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia. Ann Intern Med. 2004 May 18;140(10):769-77.


The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat

"Compared with the NCEP diet, the MLC diet, which is lower in total carbohydrates but higher in complex carbohydrates, protein, and monounsaturated fat, caused significantly greater weight loss over 12 weeks. There were no significant differences between the groups in blood lipid levels, but favorable changes were observed within the MLC diet group."

Full Text: Aude et al, The National Cholesterol Education Program Diet vs a Diet Lower in Carbohydrates and Higher in Protein and Monounsaturated Fat. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:2141-2146.


A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity, 6 Month Randomized Trial

"Severely obese subjects with a high prevalence of diabetes or the metabolic syndrome lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie- and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels, even after adjustment for the amount of weight lost."

Full Text: Samaha FF, Iqbal N, Seshadri P, Chicano KL, Daily DA, McGrory J, Williams T, Williams M, Gracely EJ, Stern L, A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity, N Engl J Med. 2003 May 22;348(21):2074-81.


One year follow up to this study below:

The Effects of Low-Carbohydrate versus Conventional Weight Loss Diets in Severely Obese Adults: One-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial

"In summary, we found similar weight loss in persons randomly assigned to a low-carbohydrate diet or a conventional diet by 1 year. Despite modest overall weight loss in both diet groups, assignment to the low-carbohydrate group had a direct and more favorable effect on triglyceride level, HDL cholesterol level, and glycemic control in the smaller subgroup of patients with diabetes. These findings give further evidence that restriction of carbohydrates in obese persons, who may be overconsuming carbohydrates at baseline, may have favorable metabolic effects."

Full Text: Stern et al, The Effects of Low-Carbohydrate versus Conventional Weight Loss Diets in Severely Obese Adults: One-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial, Ann Intern Med. 2004 May 18;140(10):778-85.


Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents

"The LC group lost more weight (mean, 9.9 ± 9.3 kg vs 4.1 ± 4.9 kg, P

Abstract: Sondike et al, Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents. The Journal of Pediatrics , Volume 142 , Issue 3 , Pages 253 - 258 S .


Very-Low-Carbohydrate Weight-Loss Diets Revisited

"Most studies have found that people lose more weight on very-low-carbohydrate diets than on standard weight-loss diets."

"Mechanisms of weight loss on these diets may go beyond water loss and include suppression of appetite, increasing the metabolic rate, decreasing metabolic efficiency, and shunting of nutrients away from fat storage."

"Weight loss is usually associated with small to moderate reductions in lean tissue, but low-energy, very-lowcarbohydrate diets may have a protein-sparing effect compared with low-fat diets."

"These diets may also have favorable effects on specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease (eg, fasting and postprandial triglyceride levels, high-density lipoprotein levels, and low-density lipoprotein particle size)."

Full Text: Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD; Eric C. Westman, MD, MHS, Very-Low-Carbohydrate Weight-Loss Diets Revisited, CCJM. 2002 Nov, 69;11


Effect of 6-Month Adherence to a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet Program

"To determine the effect of a 6-month very low carbohydrate diet program on body weight and other metabolic parameters.Fifty-one overweight or obese healthy volunteers who wanted to lose weight were placed on a very low carbohydrate diet (

Abstract: Westman EC, Yancy WS, Edman JS, Tomlin KF, and Perkins CE, Effect of 6-month adherence to a very low carbohydrate diet program, Am J Med. 2002 Jul;113(1):30-6.

Response of body weight to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet in normal and obese subjects

"The response of the body weight was compared with the weight loss obtained under one of the low fat, relatively high carbohydrate diets. Under the low fat reducing diets, the results in a total of 23 obese individuals (Table 2) indicate that the average daily weight loss is 0.49 kg when a 855 kcal diet (diet 1) is consumed and 0.26 kg with a 1,006 kcal diet (diet 2). By comparison, the average daily weight loss under high fat, low carbohydrate diets was 0.30 kg/day under diet 3 (1,707 kcal), and 0,32 kg/day under diet 5 (2,150 kcal), not withstanding the essentially higher total calorie intake per day. If fat was exchanged isocalorically for glucose (diet 4), the weight loss ceased."

Full Text: Kasper H et al, Response of body weight to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet in normal and obese subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1973 Feb;26(2):197-204.