Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Wimbledon of weightloss

Do you ever feel like you are watching a tennis match when you observe the 'rules' of dieting? One day you'll read that carbohydrates are terrible and fat is fine; the next day you will hear the opposite.

What is the real answer?

It will be decades before the science of dieting catches up with the intuition of some of diet experts, but perhaps it doesn't actually matter?

Consider a recent study that compared two different diets. The first was low in carbs and very high in fat ie. 15% of the KJ came from carbs, 53% from fat and 32% from protein). The other was high in carbs and low in fat (45% of the KJ came from carbs, 26% from fat and 20% from protein). The only thing they had in common was the total kilojoules. 4200 a day.

When the two groups of dieting volunteers weighed in after 6 weeks, guess what? On average, all of them had lost nearly the same amount of weight and body fat.

Ultimately, the protein vs carbohydrate debate is missing the point.

High fat, low fat, high protein, low protein - none of it made a scrap of difference on the scales.

What mattered was total kilojoule intake.

The key to losing weight is as basic as that.

Have you been playing weight loss tennis lately? How do you feel about this message?

PS: A belated thank you to the lovely Kristen from Bits and Pieces, whom I have met through the Back to School, Back to Blogging challenge. She has kindly awarded me the Happy 101 Award! (I don' think she had read yesterday's post when she did this.) Pop over and say hello!

PPS: This post is part of Diminishing Lucy's Fat to Fit meme. Click on the badge below to be taken to the list of other weight loss blog posts.


Karena said...

My weight regularly goes up and down by around 8 lbs. I try to eat in moderation, sometimes the carbs really get craved though!

I have a Giveaway by the French Basketeer that I think you will love!

Art by Karena

Kamarine said...

That is some very interesting knowledge.
Especially when you see so many carb based diets.

It kind of make senses. I've always been told its energy in vs energy out kind of thing.
Which I *think* Kilojoules basically are. (correct me if I'm wrong.)

Maxabella said...

It makes so much sense to just ignore all of the "too much information" and eat whole foods that are as close to nature as possible and watch the overall kilojoules in, kilojoules out thing. x

Gifts of Serendipity said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by my place today.

I agree with the kg in/out balance too.

If you'd like to create an inspiration board like mine go to
register then away you go.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Felicity x

Lucy said...

Very very true. Energy in, energy out. Eat less, move more.

Stacia said...

I think what you eat only really matters if you're an elite athlete trying to build muscle or increase endurance or something like that. For the rest of us, making overall healthy choices, exercising, and using portion control are the keys. Now, that's a whole lot easier said than done! =>

life in a pink fibro said...

Sob. Having just signed up to track my points yet again, i totally get this. I feel like Sam Stosur. Constantly turning up. Never winning the championship.

Anonymous said...

It's so easy to be sucked into diets and their promises, hey? One will tell you to live on protein and another will tell you to live on shakes. Eurgh!

I'm following Lucy - Eat less, move more :)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

At the end of the day, there's no magic solution for weight loss. I think it ultimately boils down to a mathematical equation of intake versus expenditure.

I have to quit looking at your post now, though...that picture gives me the heebie-jeebies! So cool, but yikes!

Anonymous said...

I try to ignore the different arguments where diets are concerned. I just do what works for me, which is counting calories and exercise. Everyone is different though. What works for me might not work for someone else. You just have to find what works for you and stick with it.

Gill@OurParklife said...

i try to avoid preservatives and additives rather than carbs or proteins...I have a very bad organic butter habit but i also eat a lot of good fat, nuts, avocado, olive oil etc

i went to teach in sth korea for a year in 03 and it is the one year i ate whatever I wanted and the weight literally dropped off me...But the diet there is predominantly fish, rice, seaweed though i ate plenty of meat and sweet stuff too! It really was the best diet ever and I miss it!

I feel Sugar is the big bad...

Anonymous said...

I just watch a show last night that said:

1) weigh yourself every morning
2) eat whatever, just watch portions
3) don't count calories

WHAT? You have to use more calories up than you eat or you won't lose! Right? At least that's what I'm thinking!

Melissa@Suger Coat It said...

So they say. I have found that I can lose weight simply by monitoring my food intake. But if I really want to burn it off, I need to get my butt moving.

See, such an expert. You'd never guess I am like 45kg overweight! :oP

Kristen said...

I have tried it all and I always gain and lose the same 10-20 pounds year after year. Weight Watchers (ie portion control) as well as running usually gets the scale moving in the right direction. The hard part for me is keeping that up for longer than a month or two.

Michelle Twin Mum said...

So very true. It is simple fact we need to eat less. That is just the hard bit, getting your head round that and keeping with it!

Mich x

Anonymous said...

Great analogy! The thing about this whole cycle is I've known for a good 10 years what works for me. Stick to good food, 1200 cals a day (easy when you are eating healthy stuff - you can eat a huge amount in that allowance), and exercise. So why do I feel like I'm watching the same bloody tennis match every few months? This is why I've started running. Time to hit a few aces!!

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