9 On Your Side Health Watch
Against conventional wisdom: Study suggests some calories help better maintain weight loss
Research: not all calories are created qual
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN-TV) – Not all calories are created equal when it comes to keeping pounds off, according to a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. And it’s making a lot of people rethink what they put in their mouths.
Conventional knowledge: Make sure you burn more calories than you consume. But this study adds an important caveat: the kind of calorie you eat affects the number of pounds you lose.
Dr. Dietmar Gann, a Preventative Cardiologist at Diet of Hope Institute, said the findings are legit.
“This is scientific data re-emphasizing what the findings were by Dr. Atkins 25 years ago,” Gann told KGUN9 News. “He showed that people who used the same amount of calories were losing weight faster than they were on a low-carbohydrate diet than your low-fat diet.”
Basically, the people in the study ate the same number of calories. However, the ones who ate more protein and fewer carbs had an easier time keeping off the pounds that they shed.
Experts said that’s because a low-fat diet slows your metabolism, meaning a calorie from meat is better than a calorie from pasta – when it comes to keeping the weight off.
Still, Gyda Houser, a fitness trainer isn’t convinced. “I still believe ‘calories in, calories out.’ I think people need to focus more on the type of carbohydrates they eat, the type of proteins they eat and the type of fats they eat.”
However, the study showed that it makes a big difference. Those on the very-low carb diet plan burned 300 calories more than those on the low-fat eating plan. That is equal to an hour of physical activity – without lifting a finger.
Dr. Gann said that’s because simple carbs are stored as sugar: “If you eat more protein and fat, it’s not stored as insulin in as much as you – the body – is able to utilize those calorie faster and better.”
Gann said while Dr. Robert Atkins had the right idea in emphasizing the qualitative nature of calories, he was wrong in insisting people could eat as much as they want – and that the types of fat they consume don’t matter.