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Low-fat vs low-carb diets: which is better for weight loss?

Every year many of us vow to be healthier and exercise more. We try our best to stick to diets and gym routines, but sometimes it’s hard to stay committed. If you want to lose weight and are pondering whether to cut down on fats or carbohydrates, then read on.

The truth is: it doesn’t matter, provided you eat fewer kilojoules. All diets will produce the same modest weight-loss results in the long run, according to a study at Harvard University in the US that analyzed the results of 53 studies comparing low-fat and low-carb diets in 63 000 people.

Low-carb diets tend to lead to about 1,1kg more weight loss over a year than low-fat diets – but this is a minimal difference, considering the typical weight loss was only 3,8kg. In other words, there really is no one best diet. For successful long-term weight loss, experts suggest cutting kilojoules in a way that appeals to you and that you can sustain, and focusing on eating more healthily rather than cutting down on carbs or fat. As a simple guide, follow the half-plate rule: make sure half your plate contains fruit and veg; the other half protein and starch. 

Even though what you eat is a big part of weight loss, exercise is equally important. Maintaining an active lifestyle while on an eating plan or diet can help you reach your health and fitness goals. It’s important to try to continue with your exercise regime even after you have changed your diet so that your body weight doesn’t fluctuate too much.