What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

What’s the best diet for weight loss? Is it low-fat, high-carb, low-calorie, or something else? A recent study has analyzed the available data to give us an answer. Let’s discuss the results.

If you have questions about weight loss, click here.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio. And let’s examine this question. The short answer is that compared to an unhealthy diet, like a Standard America Diet that has a lot of processed foods and added sugars, any diet can be healthy and can be beneficial for weight loss.

However, if we were to compare different types of healthy diets, then we could find which one of the healthy diets is the best for weight loss. And this is what a recent study did. Again, they found that any diet can help toward weight loss. But a lower-carbohydrate diet is the best for weight loss.

And this is fairly definitive when we look at the type of study that this is. This is what’s known as a systematic review with meta-analysis. Essentially, it looks at other studies and aggregates and summarizes all the results. So in this particular study, there were 53 studies that were examined, looking at over 68,000 patients.

And when all this data was weighed, looking at high-carb diets, low-carb diets—or we could say high-carb, low-fat, which is one type of diet, versus low-carb, high-fat, another type of diet—when we look at these different types of diets or interventions, it has been shown that although all diets can work, the best diet for weight loss, the weight loss diet that works the best tends to be a lower-carbohydrate diet.

So if you’re struggling with weight loss, there can be multiple things that can contribute to weight loss, not just diet. But from a dietary perspective, the diet that seems to work the best for weight loss is a low-carb diet, although if you’re shifting from an unhealthy diet, any diet can work.

So this is Dr. Ruscio. And I hope this information helps you get healthy and get back to your life. Thanks!

If you have questions about weight loss, click here.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Discussion

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4 thoughts on “What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

  1. Thank you for posting about this study.

    Isn’t the real answer, however, “it varies and depends”? While a meta-analysis should give us a pretty good idea of “the best weight-loss diet”, the result of it still depends on the studies that it reviews, and most weight-loss studies seem to be done on obese people, a good percentage of which surely must be insulin-resistant, and perhaps respond well to carbohydrate restriction (not that carbohydrate is the only factor that affects insulin). This doesn’t tell us how normal-weight people, who may still be over heavier than their ideal weight, should lose weight, and even less about weight maintenance.

    I, for one, have had the experience that a LCHF (which I adhered to for years) left me with severe food cravings and induced weight gain, while a higher-carb diet (i.e. a more intuitive or traditional diet with balanced macronutrient ratios) leaves me feeling satisfied and helps me maintain my weight.

    Furthermore, according to two sources analyzing my 23andme results, I am “likely to gain weight on a diet high in saturated fat” or “can loose weight equally by either retracting carbohydrate or fat”. Would you still make the same recommendation to someone like myself, if I wanted to loose a couple of pounds? If so, why?

    In other words, aren’t we overreaching if we use the results of studies based primarily on obese subjects as a general weightloss recommendation? In addition, there are so many studies showing that on isocaloric diets, the weight loss is the same for LCHF and LFHC diets. In other words, the higher fat diet may only be of additional benefit because it to some is more satiating (unless it makes you, as id did me, endless crave food).

    Thanks for the discussion.

    Tay et al. Metabolic Effects of Weight Loss on a Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diet Compared With an Isocaloric High-Carbohydrate Diet in Abdominally Obese Subjects. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 51.1 (2008)

    1. Hi Webraven,
      Yes, Christopher Gardner and I discussed this in a previous podcast. https://drruscio.com/high-carb-low-carb-science-actually-says-episode-43/ I don’t think we can make any clinical recommendation upon 23 and me results.

      In short, I agree that we all need to find the ideal macronutrient intake for our unique metabolism. I have been pretty consistent in this recommendation across the board in our posts; some do better on low carb while some do better on higher carb. For weight loss, lower carb is a good place to start, but not where everyone will end up.
      Hope this helps!

  2. Thank you for posting about this study.

    Isn’t the real answer, however, “it varies and depends”? While a meta-analysis should give us a pretty good idea of “the best weight-loss diet”, the result of it still depends on the studies that it reviews, and most weight-loss studies seem to be done on obese people, a good percentage of which surely must be insulin-resistant, and perhaps respond well to carbohydrate restriction (not that carbohydrate is the only factor that affects insulin). This doesn’t tell us how normal-weight people, who may still be over heavier than their ideal weight, should lose weight, and even less about weight maintenance.

    I, for one, have had the experience that a LCHF (which I adhered to for years) left me with severe food cravings and induced weight gain, while a higher-carb diet (i.e. a more intuitive or traditional diet with balanced macronutrient ratios) leaves me feeling satisfied and helps me maintain my weight.

    Furthermore, according to two sources analyzing my 23andme results, I am “likely to gain weight on a diet high in saturated fat” or “can loose weight equally by either retracting carbohydrate or fat”. Would you still make the same recommendation to someone like myself, if I wanted to loose a couple of pounds? If so, why?

    In other words, aren’t we overreaching if we use the results of studies based primarily on obese subjects as a general weightloss recommendation? In addition, there are so many studies showing that on isocaloric diets, the weight loss is the same for LCHF and LFHC diets. In other words, the higher fat diet may only be of additional benefit because it to some is more satiating (unless it makes you, as id did me, endless crave food).

    Thanks for the discussion.

    Tay et al. Metabolic Effects of Weight Loss on a Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diet Compared With an Isocaloric High-Carbohydrate Diet in Abdominally Obese Subjects. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 51.1 (2008)

    1. Hi Webraven,
      Yes, Christopher Gardner and I discussed this in a previous podcast. https://drruscio.com/high-carb-low-carb-science-actually-says-episode-43/ I don’t think we can make any clinical recommendation upon 23 and me results.

      In short, I agree that we all need to find the ideal macronutrient intake for our unique metabolism. I have been pretty consistent in this recommendation across the board in our posts; some do better on low carb while some do better on higher carb. For weight loss, lower carb is a good place to start, but not where everyone will end up.
      Hope this helps!

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