Low Fat, Very Low Carb, Low Glycemic… Which Diet Creates the Greatest Weight Loss?

Harvard published a study measuring weight loss in 3 dietary programs. They were:

  1. Low Fat- 20% protein, 60% carbohydrates, 20% fat
  2. Low Glycemic- 20% protein, 40% carbohydrates, 40% fat
  3. Very Low Carbohydrate- 30% protein, 10% carbohydrates, 60% fat

The winner for weight loss was, “Very Low Carbohydrate.”

This does NOT mean that everyone should throw their current nutrition program in the garbage and jump on the (Very Low Carbohydrate Plan!!)

We need to step back and take a look at the WHOLE PICTURE. Most things in life have a GOOD side and a BAD side. We tend to grab only the side of interest to us.

First, life is bigger than simply finding the fastest method to weight loss. Secondly, we must objectively see what potential HEALTH COMPROMISES are at stake following this weight loss plan?

The Harvard study found that those on the very low carbohydrate diet had:

  1. increased cortisol levels (stress hormone) which over time could promote adipocity (increased fat) and insulin resistance. In the long term this means there could be complications including WEIGHT GAIN and DIABETES.
  2. increased C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation in the body and linked to heart disease).

The low fat diet had:

  1. lower HDL values (HDL is the good cholesterol that protects the heart.)
  2. increased triglycerides (fat circulating in the blood that can lead to liver and pancreas damage, high blood pressure and cardiac disease, metabolic syndrome and ultimately type II diabetes.)

The low glycemic diet:

  1. produced better calorie burn results than the low fat (but not as good as the very low carbohydrate diet.)
  2. did not compromise the individual’s overall health (based on hormones and inflammation markers.)
  3. was also reported easier to comply with.

The purpose of this post is to show once again that “slow and easy wins the race.” Many of us are seeking “THE DIET,” and “The EXERCISE PLAN,” that achieves the perfect end result (aka “The Magic Bullet”). Until we begin to practice on a regular basis a moderate lifestyle our achievements (in most cases) will be short lived. Why invest all this time, energy, effort and emotion following a path unlikely to achieve your desired goals? Are you looking to duplicate Oprah Winfrey’s efforts in wearing the size 10 Calvin Klein jeans for a day, a week, or a month? Wouldn’t you rather focus on living life and enjoying all the benefits it has to offer?

A good place to start is asking yourself, “Am I ready to change course?” If the answer is “no”, it may not be the right time to begin. If the answer is “yes”, begin by making small changes you can live with FOREVER. “Forever changes” become a way of life rather than a short term temporary solution. Examples may include:

  • using a salad size plate in place of a dinner size plate to help reduce portion size.
  • making certain you give your body what it needs FIRST. Food is not ONLY about what you like; it is also about WHAT YOU NEED. Again, create a balance so that “needs” AND “wants” can be achieved.
  • reducing sedentary patterns. Participate is some form of physical activity on a regular basis. (ex playing with children outdoors, walking a pet, gardening.) It DOES NOT have to be an officially recognized EXERCISE program.

Starting with these small, but realistic changes is where it all begins. I encourage people to journal the positive changes they accomplish on a daily basis. This helps to reinforce a new path; a path to successful outcomes. People feel better when they succeed and this acts to further motivate a healthier and happier direction. Doesn’t this sound more palatable than simply dieting and exercising AGAIN? The next question to ask yourself is,



  1. Great read!! Thanks for the advice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your feedback. My goal is to help people understand how to achieve REALISTICALLY their desired health goals. Weight management is about so much more than just exercise and nutrition. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Wishing you good health and happiness!

      Liked by 1 person

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