Low-Carb vs Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

Low-Carb vs Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

One of the hottest fitness topics today has
been the curious case of low carb diets. Hinging on the idea that restricting carbs
can prove beneficial primarily through insulin modulation, the low carb craze grew even more
popular as its weight loss potential was enthralled by nutrition experts and struggling dieters
alike. Unfortunately, much of the current research
don’t exactly have stellar praise for the low-carb agenda, struggling to outperform
any other diet as long as protein and calories are matched. Not to be rifled by the evidence, low-carb
advocates disagree with much of the said research, citing issues like the studies were too short,
there were not enough subjects, and/or conflicts of interest. Along with existence of PRO-low-carb studies,
which themselves have a fair share of conflicts, the low-carb narrative continues to truck
along. Fortunately for us, science is persistent. A new study coming out of Stanford University
and from the lab of Dr. Christopher Gardner and his colleagues might finally put the brakes
on the low-carb hype. This randomized clinical trial bolsters an
impressive 609 participants. Setting it apart even more is that the intervention
was 12 months long with an impressive 79 percent participant retention rate. And not to settle for knocking out two of
the three issues of past studies, the research was also funded by the US National Institutes
of Health AND the Nutrition Science Initiative, aka NuSI. NuSI was co-founded by nutrition expert and
prominent low-carb advocate, Gary Taubes. The mission of the study:
Pitting low-fat versus low-carb diets. Which one is better for weight loss? Out of the 609 subjects, 305 were randomized
to the low-fat diet group and 304 were randomized into low-carbs. Additionally, all subjects were stratified
into different genotype groups. The hypothesis is that each individual might
perform better on a specific diet that their genotype favored. Subjects were also given oral glucose tolerance
tests to see if insulin production levels have any association to the effects of either
diet. The subjects at hand were both men and women,
on average roughly 40 years old, and classified as obese on the BMI scale (33). Throughout the entire 12-month intervention,
22 instructional sessions led by registered dietitians were given for each group. The goal was to educate the participants on
eating habits such as eating whole foods instead of processed food and mindful vs mindless
eating. As for the diet, each group were told to limit
either fat or carb intake to 20 grams or fewer per day for the first 2 months. Afterwards, they had the opportunity to add
more carbs or fat but only up to the point where they felt that they can sustain the
diet indefinitely. Participants were also given random 24-hour
dietary multi-pass recalls, a program that is essentially myfitnesspal on steroids. They also had blood lipid profiles and respiratory
exchange ratio changes measured, which can indicate changes in energy metabolism favoring
fat or carbs. By the end of the study, the low-fat group
on average consumed 57 grams of fat per day and the low-carb group went up to 132 grams
of carbs per day. And finally, the results:
The little things first: As mentioned earlier, 79% of the participants,
or 481, completed the entire intervention. There we no significant differences in calorie
intake between both groups. No significant differences in protein intake
but low-carb did consume a slight 12 grams more per day. No significant differences in fiber intake
but low-fat did tend to consume slightly more due to the diet’s high-carb nature. No differences in physical activity. Low-carb group did see greater changes favoring
a healthier cholesterol profile by roughly 5%. Plus, no significant effects based on genotype
patterns nor insulin level production. And finally,
At the end of the 12-month program, the low-carb group lost 13.2 pounds (6kg) and the low-fat
group lost 11.7 pounds. For a 12-month span, the difference is not
considered statistically significant nor clinically relevant. And there we have it. After a rigorous 12 months, this study shows
that there’s simply no practical advantage to either diet when it comes to weight loss. But what’s fascinating about this study
to me is the absence of counting calories. That’s not to say that calories aren’t
important. Based on the participants’ reports, they
were still achieving a calorie deficit of around 4 to 500 calories, inaccuracies not
withheld. But the fact that they didn’t count AND
achieved a deficit ties the importance of the other factors in this study: creating
a sustainable approach by having participants choose their OWN level of carb/fat restriction,
and counseling them to make better food decisions and eating habits. Granted, to some, the final tally of 132 grams
of carbs in the low-carb group wouldn’t exactly be considered a low-carb diet, but
it’s still significantly lower than where the participants started. In an interview with Examine.com, Dr. Christopher
Gardner, the lead author, explained the rationale of this approach. The goal was to find the lowest level of carb
or fat intake participants could achieve without feeling hungry. If hunger was an issue with lower intakes,
that can lead to people jumping off the diet and revert back to old eating habits. The goal was to create new eating patterns
that were sustainable without thinking of it as a “diet.” ADHERENCE was the goal and something so often
ignored when it comes to dieting that needs the utmost attention. I fully agree with the rationale of this study. Stick with the plan that allows YOU to feel
full, satisfied, and consume fewer calories. If that means fewer carbs, then great. If that means less fat, then awesome as well. As long as the foundation of eating more whole
foods and less processed junk is in order, which Dr. Gardner also suggests, then everything
else, and everyONE else, is simply noise. Except protein. Get your protein. If you want a more in-depth look at this study,
check out Examine.com’s amazing analysis and breakdown of it in the link below. I also wanted to thank them for allowing me
the permission to use their work to support this video. You can also check out the study itself in
the link below. Also, let me know your thoughts on this study
and the whole low-carb/low-fat debate in general. What’s your take on the matter? Feel free to also check out some of my merch
and my patreon if you want to further support study breakdowns like this or all the other
content you might enjoy on my channel. I know this was a longer video, but as always,
thank you so much for watching and get your protein!

100 Replies to “Low-Carb vs Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

  1. Woooo, this one was a bit extensive. Prob won't satisfy everyone, but I tried to remain objectives as much as I could. Enjoy!

    Corrections – At 2:48, the RER labeling is backwards. Fat usage is dominant at 0.7 while glucose is at 1.0. I also spelled adherence wrong at 5:16. No more proofreading and reviewing content when I'm tired 😅. I'll make sure I'm more careful next time!

  2. Have you seen this recent study on fasting increasing endurance?
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/03/02/fasting-and-exercise-a-perfect-pair/ (summary)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29485903 (abstract)

  3. Key points missing from the video :

    Fat plays a crucial role for the joints, which is pretty important if you lift weights. Cut your fat way under your kilos and you are going to suffer.

    Carbs are not that important to the human body. One can live with no carbs his or her entire life with no health issues, see the Eskimos. However, go below 100g of carbs for a month while you lift weights or play an explosive sport and your performance and recovery suffers significantly to the point you can't get out of bed.

    So for me, low carb over low fat any day. It depends however from your everyday life, whether to choose low carb or low calories with a more standard approach.

  4. Low carbs? I have white rice EVERYDAY for lunch with a variety of dishes. if you know what I mean my bengali brothers!

  5. This study was based solely on self-reporting

    The reason they're obese in the first place is because they can't count calories. So this whole study is useless.

  6. I would love to see a video talking about joints supplements.. joints are q big problem in bodybuilding world ( and for me personally) thanks for the great job

  7. Hmmmm I also wonder if exercise makes a difference (I think it does in my personal opinion. Carbs produce glycogen which is stored in the muscles for fuel when lifting weights. The fact that exercise was omitted from this study makes me wonder if it would make a significant difference in fat loss for people who lift.

    Just some food for thought. Still enjoyed the video! 😀

  8. Wait, wait, WAIT! 57 grams of fat is NOT low-fat! Therefore, the study is pointless. You get that number down to 15 or 20 grams per day, and then talk to me about "low-fat".

  9. Can you make a video about how much and how big muscles girls can make? How do they get biggest muscles? What are the alternatives? (Steroids, reps, eating more etc..) there are very few videos on this topic. There are only videos about girls NOT want to become like the hulk, but what about the women who wants to? 🙂

  10. 23 previous studies both short term and long term have concluded that low carb was more effective than low fat in weight loss.

  11. I have been on the ketogenic diet (low carb high fat) for about 2 weeks. I calculated my calories to 1566 a day and only 20g of carbs a day. I have lost about 12 pounds so far I eat 3 meals a day and I do not get hungry or have the cravings I used to (:

  12. Bro can you make a video about "movement"? A kind of training promoved by a guy called ido portal. I found it really interesting but information about it is hard to find.
    Love your channel❤

  13. well very interesting that lowering carbs improved Cholesterol rather than low fat so people with dislipidemia might benefit from low carb diet

  14. Hey, can u do a Video on PITT Force. A lot of people claim to make bigger gainz with it than with HIT or volume training so im kinda curious what science says about that.

  15. I have done both. On low fat high carb diet I lost more muscle mass than fat. My strength went down by 60%. On keto though, I retained most of the muscles and my strength was back 100% in just two weeks. And I was making PRs for next month.

  16. My issue is that I can't avoid carbs all to much (even when I try to….a lot.). But for some reason I have no issue with avoiding too much fat. My fat is only supposed to be up to 114 grams. I keep having it around 65-94 grams.

    Meanwhile my carbs (sometimes my fault I'll admit) is beyond 140+.

  17. Hi, love your channel, very instructive. Could you do a episode about weight loss and microbiota? And I also think there is link between microbiota and the conversion of white fat to beige and brown fat (adipocytes). Thanks a lot.

  18. how can one consume 132 gm of carbs and no excercise and stay in ketosis plus protein burns like carbs it tends to be gluconeogenic except for collagen ligaments and tendons
    how do they make sure participant is in ketosis no mention of it , do they check their ketones level ?

  19. If you want to retain any of the lean muscle physique you bulked for all winter skip low carb. Seriously, you'll be flat in addition to losing strength from doing HIIT. It's a lose lose, been there done that and most people (people that are natty mind you) have had the same experience. YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, YOU WANT TO LOSE BODY FAT, WHAT ARE YOU A BOXER? What good is weight loss if half of the weight you're losing is your gains? Do moderate carb/low fat and cut calories in stages + a good shred supp and 20-30 minutes of HIIT after you lift. You'll look WAY better and won't feel like shit all the time. You're welcome. One more thing, keep lifting heavy. The fibers that give you size respond to heavy weight. #micdrop #fuck

  20. 6kgs in 12 months?! If you are fat, loosing this little in a year means there wasn't really anything low, nor fat or carbs. And loosing weight (mostly fat) is not magic, it's just math (yes, for some people math = (black)magic) with some simple rules to follow. Stop eating sh*t, eat your protein, work out to maintain your muscle mass, get your vitamins and minerals, rest, and keep a calory deficit in your diet, to burn more than you eat (this is the math part).

  21. this study is bogus – by allowing the fat asses to increase their carbs and fat they pretty much botched the entire experiment

  22. I feel like a key component missing in the study is the percentage of carbs or fats that come from the calories taken in. Grams of carbs or fats are tough to generalize because everyone's metabic rate is different and exercise patterns different as well. 126 grams of carbs on a 1500 calorie diet is significantly different than 126 grams of carbs on a 2500 calorie diet. The study seems to have been well executed but it's means of measuring effectiveness between the two diets was lacking. Cool video tho!

  23. What do you think of that idea of having more protein being the reason the low-carb group may have done slightly better when it comes to weight loss? I also wish that these studies would monitor muscle loss or gain as a contributing factor. Did they work out? There's other variables I wish to know.

  24. wouldnt the low carb group just gain the weight back in 2-3 days if they started eating more carbs? While if the fat group started eating more fat, it will take wayyyy longer to gain it back. And wouldnt it be hard to exercise on a low carb diet? ya kno weight lifting and bro stuff like that.

  25. Proof read your videos. Not doing so hurts your reputation. You don't care. It makes me not want to donate to your Patreon account.

  26. Ketogenic diet should have been tested in place of "low carb". under 30g of carbs, over 60% of calories from fat, and only like 25% of calories from protein. (I might be off on the percentages). Keto diet would blow any low fat diet outta here with results!

  27. Well, when you do low fat for weeks without the scale moving, yet see results with low carbing the next day, guess which is the winner?

  28. Thing is your body needs fats but not carbs. Especially men and there testosterone, you need to get a lot of cholesterol to synthesis T. So as A young male I did keto for about 4 months and noticed sig muscle growth while remaining lean.

  29. Was there no mention of how much of that weight lost was fat/muscle? Low-glycogen diets are notorious for mainly getting rid of water weight.

  30. great video. watched lots of your content recently. have liked about 75% of them and disliked the rest. this one tipped the balance. you got yourself a new subscriber

  31. Ive done both. I started with low carb <30g and calorie restriction 1500 with going to the gym. I lost a lot of fat really quickly 40lbs. in about 6 months. Then I noticed that my muscles weren't really growing anymore, my strength wasn't increasing, and I started losing motivation to go to the gym. I didn't want to work out very long either <45mins/day 3 times a week. 5months ago I switched to high carb +150g of carbs and low fat <50g still on a calorie restriction <1800-2000/day and big cheat days once a week. Within a week I gained 10lbs. (water). I kept going to the gym and haven't lost much weight on the scale, but my muscles look huge and more defined. Ive been sitting at a plateau for a while now because I keep cheating for a week and then going back on the diet, but I can tell you the high carb. is working great for me as a bodybuilder/lifter and gym goer. Its not hard to spend 2 hours in the gym and then go for an 30 min to hour long walk/jog. I feel better, my diet is more flexible, I enjoy the food I get to eat more, and I dont "have" to meal prep. On less than 30g of carbs you really cant be care free about what your next meal is going to be (everything has carbs). On low fat its really easy. For now I'll continue with the low fat because Im getting really strong in the gym and my biceps and chest are growing quickly and to be honest I just love carbs lol.

  32. Let's be honest, a moderate approach is best. I personally go with a 35-35-30 approach, (30 being protein) and not only do I meet my daily goal of proteins, but can enjoy the occasional treat without exceeding my macros.
    And yes, I have tried both low carb (personally had health problems when trying keto) and low fat (nope sorry I love my cheese too much) before settling with this ratio, but so far it's the only regime I can see myself stick to for the rest of my life; I regarded the other two as "diets" which would soon end rather than a lifestyle.
    As you say, adherence is key, so an IIFYM approach is ideal because anyone can stick to it, being highly customisable.

  33. Do a video about intermittent fasting, i believe in fewer fat than fewer carbs, not meaning u should now eat fat at all.

  34. You need to almost eliminate all carbs (keto) to start producing ketones and really see results. The low carb group probably wasn't nearly even close to keto.

  35. Excellent video. I do have to point out that this specific study was very weight loss centric. Anyone just looking to live a healthier lifestyle might not get the full answer. But, still. This video is most definitely useful for the majority of the people watching considering more than 70% of Americans are now overweight and over 60% are obese.

  36. I'm on slimming world calorie counting is bad for you. I lose 3+ lb a week and eat as much as I want. From all food groups pretty much.

  37. 132g of carbs is in no way a low carb diet. 50g would be on the high end. So I think what they studied is the dietary preference of the participants not necessarily the value of low vs high fat diet. I've been on sub 50g carbs for three years now so it's definitely sustainable even when eating out. Just substitute potatoes and starchy vegetables with green vegetables and of course no bread. For me, the low carb is even more sustainable than low fat as one of the big drivers, for me, of super high-calorie eating was overeating of empty calories on starchy stuff like potato chips and Fench Fries. I find taking them off the menu all together is much more sustainable than "eating just one". I think that was even a tagline for Lays. "Bet you can't eat just one".

  38. The study participants were at a 400–500 calorie per day deficit for a year and lost only 11–13 lbs? How can that be?

  39. that low carb group really wasn't strict enough. I still don't think it would have made a big diffrence. Maybe like another 2lbs on avg. still 13 or 15 lbs in a year is pathetic

  40. Im 15 and wanted to tone up for summer. I play football so i run and work out 4 times a week plus maybe a run on the weekend. I restricted my carb intake to little as possible, which was probably 10 to maybe 20 carbs a day. With the running and working out plus the low carb diet i had going on i lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks. Not saying this video was wrong, just saying i myself experienced different outcome.

  41. 130g of carbs LOL, FAKE STUDY
    Also, they didn't put a protein/fat limit to the low carb group. Results are not relevant, the matter still stands. Keto is better

  42. Here's a real result on low carb diet (keto), not your bullshit 130 grams of carbs, LOL! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/

  43. The whole fat being bad for you is a scheme made by sugar corporations. Seriously, search it up. Fat is a normal part of the human diet and you should only avoid it if you have high colesterol, hearth problems, etc. Fat is ok, refined sugar is literally poison

  44. I personally follow a low fat diet with moderate carb intake and I have lost a significant amount of weight. However my carbs are not refined, they only come from fruits, vegetables, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. Also I incorporate exercise into the routine, and especially if I occasionally eat a refined carb, I will definitely exercise and use up the excess glucose. Also I drink alot of water, no sodas or fruit juices..But I believe whether low fat or low carb, as long as it is clean eating and whole foods, it will work either way. Whether low fat or low carb, if you stay away from refined carbs and all the processed foods and sugars, you will lose weight.

  45. Say you just are on a regular diet (whole foods reg protein, fats and carbs) is it okay to cut down my carb intake if i was wanting to lose weight a little faster

  46. Carbs tend to make me crave more. Where as fat and protein is satisfying and I can eat one meal a day and be fine. Adding a big cup of whole milk also helps to finish off a meal in making me feel full. Also eating low carb tends to insure I don't have stomach problems. Even if I drink milk. While I'm sure there is plenty of carbs that don't upset my stomach, it seems like quite a bit do. Even adding just potatoes to my diet can make my stomach a little upset. (To note, I had H. Pylori which I think that mixed with the antibiotics to treat it fucked up my stomach. And yes I take a probiotic daily)

  47. Misleading video.
    They are not comparing a low carb diet to a low fat diet. They are comparing a medium carb diet to a low fat diet.
    This video is a lot like a Michael Moore documentary, using data manipulation, biased narration and a preconceived notion of who is correct.
    Most doctors and researchers today admit that weight loss and bio markers improve much better on a real low or no carb diet.
    This is a biased video.

  48. i started out with a low carb diet but when i got leaner my workouts began to suck so i switched to low fat and yeapp started working out like a boss burning more calories with intense workouts… i still go low carb on small muscle days though. i train everyday btw

  49. low carb diet works
    why are you hating

    eat your favorite meat
    eat your favorite vegetables
    eat your favorite fruits
    eat 2 avocados a day

  50. Yeaaaahh bogus. 100 grams of carbs a day is the limit. 20 is low carb. Yeah this is trash and i dont even do low carb.

  51. I eat lots of sweet potatoes everyday, still losing fat 🙂 .. just stay in caloric deficit ,eat Required amounts of protien and you’ll be fine 🙂

  52. Fewer carbs are the way too go! Human Body's run their best in fat burning mode your body doesn't burn carbs lol, it burns fat to lose weight… I've lost 80 lbs lowering carbs and increasing healthy fats! If you're a regular person with average genetics you should probably look into less carb & more healthy fats! Think about it peeps your body runs on fats and stores it for reserves, it must be the best fuel source for the body✌️

  53. The one thing they didn't really focus on is the effects of long term ketosis. The participants didn't really stick to a diet that would be considered "keto" for very long.

  54. Question, if they did not count … how the hell they knew how many carbs/fat/protein/kcal they were eating?

  55. remember people, it's not what you eat that makes you fat, it's the amount you eat that makes you fat. EAT LESS that's the big secret to weight loss.

  56. The low carb authors had confidence that didn’t pan out in the short term. One year is certainly short term. Collecting data say at 5 or 10 years would show how the low carb “experience” affected the dieters. Could be significant. Could be devastating.

  57. I have already used this “Yamzοkο Weebly” (Google it) for a few weeks already and also the final results are amazing. They offer me lots of energy and reduce my appetite, yet I don`t quit whenever they wear off which I love, and they also don`t make me jittery. I have not changed everything else I`m doing and also have lost 7 lbs. .

  58. Man why the hell you consider low carbs and keto as a weight loss method….

    Weight loss isn't the primary objective of these diets. It's objective is to improve insuline sensitivity, bowel syndrome, and a way to reset sleep and daily routine life….

    Weight loss is just an outcome. You can't rely on that without considering optimal hormone balance.

    Why the hell are you taking this as a method to lose weight

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