Low Carbohydrate vs Low Fat studies are all the rage!

Many of you know I am working on a nutrition study at Stanford comparing low fat to low carbohydrate diets. Our study is the largest single site weight loss study ever to be conducted – 609 men and women! – participants are randomized to a plan and follow their diet for a year.We do not provide them with food or money and they are ultimately responsible for being adherent. They have 22 group classes filled with education and resources and unlimited access to a dietitian for the year.

Some of you may have seen the recent coverage of a study comparing low fat vs low carbohydrate diets. Very different study design than ours – very small (only 19 participants) – an extremely controlled environment, food is provided, no real life distractions – for a short time of only two weeks.

So…who won?

Well the jury is still out on our study as it will not be completed until Spring 2016…and the recent study showed that participants on both diets achieved results.

  • One could argue that a super controlled study with only 19 people is not applicable to real life. But, at least we know exactly what they were eating.
  • And while the study I am working on is a much larger sample size, we cannot control their actions – they are living busy, intense lives and we are not certain of every calorie they are consuming. 

So…who the heck won? Which diet is better?

The answer is likely neither…or both…and while I am counting the moments until the data from our study is ready, I truly believe it is going to show benefits and flaws on both plans. Our study is called “One Diet Does Not Fit All” for a reason. There is not just one perfect fit for everyone.

A commentary from the recent study states that it might not be relevant which diet you are on, but rather what eating plan you can maintain and what is the right mix of nutrients for you, and only you, to achieve results.

As unsexy as it is, if you create patterns, habits and a routine that work for YOU, I sincerely believe you will succeed and feel better than ever.

Be good to yourself…and enjoy some carbohydrates…and fat…and protein – imagine that!