Most people who are trying to lose body fat decide to do a massive 180 degree switch and go from eating quite unhealthily to following an extremely restrictive diet. While this type of diet may be suitable for certain types (those with insulin resistance for example) they can be over kill for the average person. A responsible nutrition plan combined with exercise resulting in less energy consumed then expended is what matters most.
Going very low carb, cutting out grains, or anything extreme, is perhaps only the cherry on top & unnecessary, and should only be utilised for a very short period of time once plateaus start to occur. In a talk I went to by the owner of Dexa Scans Australia (the Gold Standard for body composition testing with X Ray Machines), he stated that he has never seen anyone actually lose more then 1kg of body fat per week, and that after roughly the 1kg mark it starts becoming muscle tissue- often any extreme dieting results in muscle tissue wasting away. Below are some studies just showing how it really comes down to energy and not the composition of your diet (for both fat loss & hormonal markers) which is the most important above all else. Below are just a few studies of many to demonstrate this.While I am not suggesting to anyone to have carbs at night or what specific diet they should go about for their fat loss, it is good to know that what matters most is a consistent, adherent, responsible & balanced approach to eating.
1. Study One: Eating Carbs at night resulted in MORE weight loss
This study was published in two very well known journals. Israeli Researches used 78 overweight police officers & put them on two different diets – the first group spread them throughout the day, the second ate carbs late at night. After 6 months the second group lost more body fat, and resulted in better hormonal markers (blood sugar).
Sofer S,, S, 2011. Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner.. Obesity (Silver Spring), [Online]. 19/10, 2006-14. Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475137
2. Study Two: Effects of 4 weight-loss diets differing in fat, protein, and carbohydrate on fat mass, lean mass, visceral adipose tissue, and hepatic fat.
This paper looked at 4 diets with varying composition of protein/carb/fat. They wanted to determine whether it was calories that mattered most, or the composition of the diet that resulted in total, visceral, or hepatic fat and in preserving lean muscle mass. They concluded “Participants lost more fat than lean mass after consumption of all diets, with no differences in changes in body composition, abdominal fat, or hepatic fat between assigned macro nutrient amounts”
Souza , RJ, 2012. Effects of 4 weight-loss diets differing in fat, protein, and carbohydrate on fat mass, lean mass, visceral adipose tissue, and hepatic fat: results from the POUNDS LOST trial.. Am J Clin Nutr., [Online]. 95/3, 614-625. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22258266
3. Study Three: Long-term effects of varied diets
This study looked at the long term effects of a low carb/high fat diet and a high carb/low fat diet. They concluded “Both dietary patterns resulted in similar weight loss and changes in body composition. The LC diet may offer clinical benefits to obese persons with insulin resistance“.
Brinkworth , GD, 2009. Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. Am J Clin Nutr., [Online]. 90/1, 23-32. Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19439458