Low Calorie or Low Carb?

When you are ready to lose weight, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you have in terms of diet plans. One big decision – do I go low calorie or low carb? Many types of low-carb diets exist, each with varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates. Examples of low-carb diets include Atkins diet, Zone diet and Protein Power.

In a recent report, Prevention magazine reported on the how a variety of different diets and gave low-carb diets a hesitant thumbs-up. There is some evidence that low-carb diets--though not specific products--promote weight loss. Some scientists suggest that carbohydrates — including bread, pasta, rice, cereals, milk, most fruit and any sweets — usually provide over half of people's daily calories. Obviously severely limiting them would by necessity, cut one’s calories.

Others suggest it's not the lack of carbs that's key: "It's the fact that people on low-carb diets tend to eat more protein, which is very satisfying and filling," explains Jonathan Waitman, MD, a clinical nutrition specialist in the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

A recent University of Washington study found that people on a diet that was 30% protein ate fewer calories and reported less hunger than those who followed a meal plan that was 15% protein (the diets had identical amounts of carbs, which suggests that protein really made the difference).

In other words, low carbohydrate diets may actually also be low calorie diets because the protein in the diet makes you feel more full and you eat less.

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Poll

What low carb plan have you tried the most?
Atkins Diet
52%
South Beach Diet
12%
No White Diet - no white flour, potatoes, white rice
11%
No sugars, high sugar fruit, starchy vegetables
6%
I created my own low carb plan
20%
Total votes: 1076

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