Cut Carbs, Burn More Calories?

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A study led by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and Framingham State University, both in Massachusetts, suggests low-carb diets increase the number of calories burned and can help people maintain weight loss over time. This study, called the Framingham State Food Study, was published in the BMJ.

First, the researchers screened 1,685 potential participants and selected 234 overweight adults, aged 18 to 65 with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher, to follow an initial 10-week weight-loss program. Then, the 164 participants who had lost 10 to 14 percent of their total body weight were enrolled in the study’s maintenance phase where they were randomized to follow a high-, moderate-, or low-carbohydrate diet for 20 weeks. Researchers controlled study participants’ food intake with fully-prepared meals and monitored their weight, insulin and hormone levels, and calories burned. Total calories were adjusted to maintain weight loss in all three study groups.

According to the researchers, participants following a low-carb diet expended significantly more energy — that is, burned more calories — than those on a high-carb eating plan, by an average of about 250 calories per day. In three years, this would amount to an average weight loss of 20 pounds, without additional changes to diet or exercise.

Sourced from: BMJ