It’s a question that seems to have people on both sides of the fence shouting for you to join them. So if you are trying to lose some weight what is more effective, to restrict carbohydrate or fat intake?
Published in the journal Cell Metabolism, a group of scientists were pondering this question. Apparently it is very difficult to get reliable data in the real world from people answering questionnaires about the food intake, or as the authors put it, it is difficult to “accurately measure adherence” to diets. In this case, the scientists conducted their study on a group of 19 obese patients who were in-patients at a hospital, i.e. their food intake could be controlled.
The subjects were given an energy balanced diet for 5 days followed by a 6 day special diet in which 30% of the total energy was removed from the diet by either reducing the carbohydrate or the fat content.
What they found was interesting, based on putting the patients into a metabolic chamber to measure the loss of fat, they found that the group who were on the restricted fat diet were losing on average 89g of fat per day while the group on the restricted carbohydrate diet were losing only 53g per day. This was despite the fact that the carbohydrate diet led to a “substantial increase in net fat oxidation” compared to the reduced fat diet.
So there you go, it seems that restricting that fat and keeping the carbs might be the better way to go.