Science Says You Don’t Need to Give Up Carbs to Lose Weight

You can have your cake and lose weight, too.

There may soon be a miraculous decrease in the number of people suffering from a gluten intolerance.

It’s all thanks to a new study that has determined whether it’s more effective to cut fat or carbs from your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. The scientific answer? Cut whichever you believe to be less delicious.

Proponents of the low-carb diet often maintain that bagel abstinence causes your body’s insulin levels to drop, which is necessary to burn fat. Those in the other camp argue that cutting fat is an effective form of fat loss because duh. Well new researchhas finally determined that both are equally bad and we can all stop arguing and go home now.

The findings are from a rigorous study helmed by Kevin Hall at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hall and his colleagues recruited 19 obese patients (each weighing over 230 pounds) and split them into two groups. One was fed a low-carb diet that cut total calories by 30%. The other got a low-fat diet that did the same thing. After a few rest weeks, they switched.

The average participant on the low-carb diet lost a pound of fat over two weeks. The average participant on the low-fat diet lost precisely the same amount. All participants were kept in the lab for the duration of their diets to prevent cheating.

Hall says the results debunk the theory that cutting carbs is the only way to cut fat. “That theory, as it stands—that very strong claim—is certainly not true,” he says. Instead it’s total calories that matter most.

Of studies suggesting that, over a six-month period, people do tend to lose more weight on a low-carb diet, Hall is equally skeptical. “We would suggest that that’s probably because they end up eating [fewer] calories in total,” he says, not because of physiology reasons.

So ultimately you’ll still have to choose one evil if you want to optimize pound-shedding. But who needs bacon when you have tasty pork-flavored seaweed of the future?

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