Low-carb diets do a better job of keeping metabolism on track when people are trying to lose weight, and that might be helping people keep the pounds off for good, shows a new study.
Researchers say carbohydrates such as white bread, refined breakfast cereals, and white sugar are rapidly digested, causing a quick rise in blood sugar and insulin. This in turn leads the body to slow the metabolism, causing people to feel hungrier sooner. Low-carb diets, however, emphasize foods that are digested more slowly, such as whole grains, fruits and nuts. Blood sugar rises more slowly, and metabolism remains more normal.
Specialists say that conventional weight-loss diets usually don't work for more than a few months because the body has a 'setpoint' and when and individual diets, the bodies internal mechanisms work to restore ones weight back to that setpoint. Results also show that Low-carb diets, work better with these internal biological responses to create the greatest likelihood of long-term weight loss.
In a recent study, researchers compared adults who went on a low- fat diet with those who went on a low-carb diet. Both groups consumed about 1,500 calories a day, and both lost about 10 percent of their body weight. However, those on the low-fat diet had larger decreases in resting energy expenditures, meaning their metabolisms slowed down significantly more than those on the low-carb diet. Low-carb dieters also reported being less hungry while dieting than those on the low-fat diet.
Thus researchers suggest that the type of calories consumed -- independent of the amount -- can alter metabolic rate.