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Which Diets Burn More Calories?

Calorie counting is an important element of any weight loss strategy, but all calories may not count the same. A recent study suggests that following a low-carb or low-glycemic diet may be better for achieving weight loss than a low-fat diet.

Researchers at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital tested the 3 different diet types. They found that total calories burned was highest while on the low-carb diet, followed by the low-glycemic diet. Total calories burned while on the low-fat diet were much lower.

21 young adults who were overweight or obese were recruited for the study. The group was split into three interventions, with each receiving the same amount of calories but from different energy sources:

1. isocaloric low-fat diet (60% of energy from carbohydrate, 20% from fat, 20% from protein)

2. low-glycemic diet (40% carbohydrate, 40% fat, 20% protein)

3. very low-carbohydrate diet (10% carbohydrate, 60% fat, 30% protein.

The researchers also noted that the low-carb and low-glycemic diets reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal, which may be why they are more effective for achieving lasting weight loss. In addition, those who consumed the low-glycemic diet did not experience the same side effects as those who consumed the low-carb diet, mainly stress and inflammation.

Their findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on June 27, 2012.

A balanced diet and exercise are important for weight loss, but there are other dietary interventions you can take when you're trying to shed the pounds. Previous studies have suggested that eating whole grains, drinking green tea, consuming alginates and supplementing with CoQ10 may all aid weight loss efforts.

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