Comparison of a low carbohydrate and low fat diet for weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults enrolled in a clinical weight management program.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that a low carbohydrate (LC) diet may be equally or more effective for short-term weight loss than a traditional low fat (LF) diet; however, less is known about how they compare for weight maintenance. The purpose of this study was to compare body weight (BW) for participants in a clinical weight management program, consuming a LC or LF weight maintenance diet for 6 months following weight loss. METHODS: Fifty-five (29 low carbohydrate diet; 26 low fat diet) overweight/obese middle-aged adults completed a 9 month weight management program that included instruction for behavior, physical activity (PA), and nutrition. For 3 months all participants consumed an identical liquid diet (2177 kJ/day) followed by 1 month of re-feeding with solid foods either low in carbohydrate or low in fat. For the remaining 5 months, participants were prescribed a meal plan low in dietary carbohydrate (~20%) or fat (~30%). BW and carbohydrate or fat grams were collected at each group meeting. Energy and macronutrient intake were assessed at baseline, 3, 6, and 9 months. RESULTS: The LC group increased BW from 89.2 +/- 14.4 kg at 3 months to 89.3 +/- 16.1 kg at 9 months (P = 0.84). The LF group decreased BW from 86.3 +/- 12.0 kg at 3 months to 86.0 +/- 14.0 kg at 9 months (P = 0.96). BW was not different between groups during weight maintenance (P = 0.87). Fifty-five percent (16/29) and 50% (13/26) of participants for the LC and LF groups, respectively, continued to decrease their body weight during weight maintenance. CONCLUSION: Following a 3 month liquid diet, the LC and LF diet groups were equally effective for BW maintenance over 6 months; however, there was significant variation in weight change within each group.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lecheminant, JD; Gibson, CA; Sullivan, DK; Hall, S; Washburn, R; Vernon, MC; Curry, C; Stewart, E; Westman, EC; Donnelly, JE

Published Date

  • November 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 /

Start / End Page

  • 36 -

PubMed ID

  • 17976244

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2228297

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-2891

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/1475-2891-6-36


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England