There’s nothing fun about dieting for weight loss, and one of the worst parts is deciding which food indulgences to cut back on.
People often turn to low-carb diets, but that requires giving up tasty bread and pasta.
Low-fat diets are another popular choice, but that means relinquishing your stash of delicious cheese (yes, low-fat cheese exists but usually tastes like spackle).
If you’re on the fence about which diet choice leads to the most effective weight loss, new research from Stanford University School of Medicine may make the decision easier.
A study of 609 men and women between ages 18 and 50 revealed that dieters can lose roughly the same amount of weight eating a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet.
Researchers acknowledge there was a wide variety of results among the study’s participants. The average weight loss was an average of 13 pounds at the end of one year, but some participants lost 60 or more pounds, while others gained 15 to 20.
But Dr. Christopher Gardner, the lead author of the study, says the basic weight-loss strategy is the same for low-fat and low-carb diets. For the best results, people should eat loads of vegetables and cut back on sugar and refined flour.
“On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we had helped them change their relationship to food, and that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate,” Gardner said in a news release.
Low-Fat and Low-Carb Diets Don’t Have to Be a Drag
Since your weight loss results are likely to be the same no matter which of the two diet plans you choose, pick the one that shrinks your waistline, not your pocketbook.
These money-saving tips will get you started.
- Packing vegetables into your diet doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, YouTube is filled with videos on how to make vegetarian and vegan fare that will make you forget cheeseburgers and bacon exist (well, almost).
- Sugar-sweetened sodas are often among the first thing to go when people start a low-carb diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of yummy alternatives to regular and diet soda you can make right at home.
- We all need comfort food from time to time. These four budget-friendly low-carb alternatives to indulgences like pizza and nachos are a perfect go-to when the cravings kick in.
- If you’re searching the internet for meal ideas, be sure to take a look at other types of dietary programs. Some Paleo, Whole 30 and DASH Diet recipes are naturally low-fat or low-carb and use ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Whichever diet plan you choose, check with your doctor to make sure it’s a good fit for your long-term health goals.
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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