Harvard University recently completed a study that concluded that when it comes to weight loss all calories are not equal. What makes these findings new and interesting is they were based on whether you maintain your weight loss rather how many or how fast you shed pounds.The study concluded reducing refined carbohydrates may help maintain weight loss better than reducing fat. Not much new about that. What's new is they found you can consume more calories if you reduce carbs and still maintain your weight loss...exercise was not a factor in these findings.
Low Carb diets are not new, but the Harvard study does seem to confirm a dramatic reduction in carbs has the greatest effect on Metabolism of the 3 diets studied...Low Fat, Low Glycemic Index, Very Low Carb. The worst results were Low Fat, the best was Low Carb, but the researchers concluded a "Low Glycemic-Index" diet is better for your health. According to the study both Low Carb and Low Glycemic appear to allow you to consume as many as 300 more calories a day than a traditional Low Fat diet and still maintain your weight loss. The study also concluded that a "Low Glycemic-Index" diet is easier to stick to than "Low Carb," due to the addition of certain unrefined carbs found in certain grains, fruits and vegetables being more "interesting."
We believe there is no single diet that is appropriate for everyone. We don't all process food in the same way, but I need to shed some pounds so I decided to test my own version of the Harvard findings. I chose very Low Carb because my goal was to lose weight rather than maintenance and I wanted to reach a conclusion in the shortest amount of time. I vowed to stay on it for 3 weeks. I've used this diet in the past with good results, my problem wasn't boredom with the food, it was the inconvenience of shopping for it and preparing it that troubled me. So this time I "cheated." I relied on a new product by the grand daddy of all Low Carb diets...Atkins Frozen Low Carb Meals. I'm pleased to report I lost 12 pounds in 21 days and felt great.
We never endorse products around here, but since I'm in a position to show you exactly what I did I decided it was only fair to give credit where credit is due. By simply limiting myself to these meals the weight seemed to just fall off beginning the third day and by then I noticed a dramatic reduction in hunger. I had scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast and selected from 4-5 of these low carb entrees for lunch and dinner...the portions were generous and the calories were "about" the same per meal as other diets I've used in the past. The amount of Protein per serving was 24 grams in round numbers, just less carbs and more fat. The carbs coming mostly from green vegetables. The calories averaged around 330 per serving and 7 carbs max. Counting calories clearly wasn't the driver of my success. If I was hungry I ate another frozen meal, but after the third day 3 was all I wanted.
We make no claim regarding which diet is more healthy or which one might work best for you...our goal was to test weight loss not life expectancy, but I can tell you I found the "Metabolic Effect" of low carb meals the Harvard study cited to be very real. A few days in I had far more energy than other diets I've tried in the past and fewer cravings too. I'm confident you can produce the same result with fresh food instead of buying these meals, but there is no doubt the convenience and discipline the frozen meals provided helped me a lot in completing the test. As you can see in the end I was reducing calories too and I'm certain this contributed to my success. But I was not counting calories, remember that if you decide to give this a try. Talk to your Doctor before you begin any diet, but in our opinion these results are worth noting. Good Luck. Tom LeDuc
Learn more about the Harvard Study here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/06/when-a-calorie-is-not-just-a-calorie/
Visit atkins.com to learn more about Low Carb Diets and the frozen Low Carb Meals.