After Weight Loss, The Best Diet To Keep It Lost
Turns out that all calories are not created equal; Some send blood sugar levels soaring after a meal (yes, a bad thing), and some don’t (a much better thing). Researchers at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital have found that diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal–either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate–are the way to go for those who want to keep weight off. A Children’s Hospital news release reports that researchers studied with 21 adults (ages 18-40) who had recently lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, putting each them on the following diets in random order, each for four weeks at a time.
- A low-fat diet,which reduces at and emphasizes whole grain products and fruits and vegetables, comprised of 60 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein.
- A low-glycemic index diet made up of minimally processed grains, vegetables, healthy fats, legumes and fruits, with 40 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from protein. Low glycemic index carbohydrates digest slowly, helping to keep blood sugar and hormones stable after the meal.
- A low-carbohydrate diet, modeled after the Atkins diet, comprised of 10 percent of daily calories from carbohydrates, 60 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein.
The very low-carbohydrate diet produced the greatest improvements in metabolism, but it also increased cortisol levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. That diet also raised C-reactive protein levels, which may also increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Ultimately, the researchers found that diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal–either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate–may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those who want to keep the weight they’ve lost from reappearing. The study also found that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet.