Newswise - Many dieters have found that a diet low in carbohydrates,such as the Atkins or Protein Power diets, are the only waythey can lose weight and some people have lost an amazingnumber of pounds by following this regimen. But scientistswere skeptical about how and why they worked. It was thoughtthat a high protein diet was dehydrating or that perhaps itactually changed a dieter?s metabolism. A new study provesthat it's not WHAT we eat that keeps us fat, it's HOW MUCHwe eat?and we eat a lot less on a low carb diet.
Temple University School of Medicine researchers studied agroup of obese patients with type 2 diabetes who followedthe Atkins diet. Dr. Guenther Boden says, "Whencarbohydrates were restricted, study subjects spontaneouslyreduced their caloric intake to a level appropriate fortheir height, did not compensate by eating more protein orfat, and lost weight. We concluded that excessive overeatinghad been fueled by carbohydrates."
Since almost 80% of diabetics are overweight--in fact,losing weight often cures the disease--Boden wanted to studythese patients. He discovered they did not eat less becausethey were bored with the food selection, another theory thathas been proposed about low carb diet success. Boden says,"When we took away the carbohydrates, the patientsspontaneously reduced their daily energy consumption by1,000 calories a day. Although they could have, they did notcompensate by eating more proteins and fats and they weren'tbored with the food choices. In fact, they loved the diet.The carbohydrates were clearly stimulating their excessiveappetites."
All the patients stayed in the hospital while the study wasgoing on, to make sure they stuck to their diets. Otherstudies on the results of the Atkins diet have been donewhen subjects were eating at home, so they were much lessaccurate. In addition to the calorie reduction and weightloss, subjects lowered their glucose levels, as well astheir triglycerides and cholesterol.
This doesn't mean that low carb diets don't work?they're anexcellent way to cut down on calories while not feelinghungy. But now we know why they work.
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