As Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, part of my role is pouring through the mass of diet and exercise research out there to discover for you the best information from the most credible sources to help you succeed at your health and fitness goals.
This week, a very intriguing study was published in one of the most credible sources: The Journal of the American Medical Association. The title may be a mouthful ( “Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance”) but this research is big news, so I am going to boil it down for you.
The basic premise of the study was this: Reduced energy expenditure (a slowing of metabolism) following weight loss is thought to contribute to the tendency to gain weight back. However, no one had yet studied how the type of food people eat when they are trying to maintain weight loss affects their energy expenditure. That is what the researchers set out to do here.
The study looked at the effects of three, very common weight -loss maintenance diets on energy expenditure among a group of overweight men/women aged 18-40 years old. Researchers also looked to see what affect these diets had on certain hormone levels and components of metabolic syndrome.
The diets were as follows:
- Low fat (60/20/20)
- Low glycemic index (40/40/20)
- Very low carbohydrate (10/60/30)
( ) = % CARBOHYDRATES/FAT/PROTEIN in diet
The study demonstrated that of the three, the low fat diet fared worst. Producing changes in metabolism and hormone levels that would predict weight gain as well as worsening many components of metabolic syndrome.
The low carbohydrate diet fared best in terms of metabolism and the beneficial effects it had on many of the metabolic syndrome components. However, increases in the stress hormone cortisol and CRP were seen. (CRP or C-reactive protein, is found in your blood stream and at certain levels can indicate inflammation and a risk of developing coronary artery disease.)
The low glycemic index diet showed similar benefits as the very low carb diet, but to a lesser degree. But, those benefits came without the negative effects of the very low carb diet – the increase in cortisol and CRP – making it, in the minds of the researchers, the most “advantageous for weight-loss maintenance and cardiovascular disease prevention.”
So what should you do with this information?
First, keep on strength training! The lean muscle you are building and maintaining with Koko Smartraining boosts your metabolism. Second, be conscious about the food you are eating and focus on eating foods that are low on the glycemic index while staying away from fast food, refined carbs, and “white” foods that are high on the glycemic index.
It is one more simple strategy to help you on the road to success – improving your health and vitality!
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer