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Low Carb vs. Low Fat for Weight Loss

May 15, 2018

A lot of people are on the Low Carb bandwagon these days, but “Team Low Fat” has plenty of successful dieters on its roster.


Is there a reason going low carb has become popular? Is it better, or just a fad?


I’ll give you the short answer and the long one.


The Short Answer


Spoiler alert: I’m about to go straight to the answer.


A few years ago a meta-analysis (a study of multiple studies) was done comparing weight loss with low carb/high fat diets and low fat/high carb diets.


What they found… there is no significant difference. (Here’s the study.) 


You can lose weight just fine with either approach. The main factor was simply adherence — if you can stick to either type of diet, you’ll get results. (This has been shown to be true of pretty much any diet.)


Now that you know this, the real question is what should you do with this information?


I’ll get to that, but first we need to go a little more in depth.


The Long Answer


If you’ve tried and failed with dieting as many times as I have, I’m sure it’s frustrating to hear me say “any diet works.”


Which is why I’m about to throw a wrench in this whole thing.


Another study found some people lost more weight on a low carb/high fat diet, while others were more successful with the opposite approach. This was dependent on something called insulin sensitivity. (Here’s that study.)


Before you throw your hands in the air and start eating cupcakes like you don’t care, let me explain something.


While it’s true that adhering to a diet (any diet) is the ultimate answer, there’s a host of reasons you might not get the results you hoped for. Many of them boil down to this:


There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.


In the first study I referenced, they were after a general perspective of the best weight loss diet. (They concluded adherence was most important.)


The second study was a single study based on specific individual differences. And even though certain diets worked better for certain people, everyone still lost weight, regardless of the diet.


In other words, don’t sweat the details.


Don’t sweat the details.


Dear God please don’t sweat the details.


Just know they exist. Not so that you get lost in a buffet of diet hacks and trends. Know it so you can avoid frustration.


If you have trouble with your diet, a nutrition coach (such as myself) can sort through the details and help you find the individual approach that works best for you. I know the signs of what to look for, and the changes to make based on those signs.


You can apply for my online coaching here.


What This All Means For You


The results of these studies are exactly why you won’t find me preaching a specific diet.


You won’t find me preaching low carb or low fat at all.


What I do preach is portion control. It’s possible you may need to cut back, or you might need more carbs or more healthy fats.


Weight loss isn’t about restrictions. You shouldn’t have to white knuckle your way through a diet.


Even with individual differences, going to extremes (like ultra low carbs or fats) is rarely necessary. 


You might lose weight by making just one big change, but you won’t keep it off. To do that, you need to make multiple small changes.


Unfortunately, most diet information aimed at the general public (you) is based on the advanced strategies the pros use. Because, you know… it’s their job and they have time for that crap.


If you’re on a diet like that, with a little patience, guaranteed it’ll work. But if/when you realize you can’t stick with it, it’s time for something different.


What you need is a diet that doesn’t feel like a diet at all.


That’s what I help my clients build, and it’s the foundation of the approach in my ebook, “Forever Fat Loss: 12 Habits For Lasting Change.”


To adopt this unique way of thinking, sign up for our email newsletter and we’ll send the book so you can get started.

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