Going on a low-carb diet can be more effective for weight loss than cutting calories, especially for people with insulin resistance.

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© Hallis Johnson / Insider
Hollis Johnson / Insider

  • According to research, a low-carb diet and exercise plan can be twice as effective as calorie restriction in reducing the weight of people suffering from diabetes.
  • This is because temporarily reducing carbohydrate consumption can help restore normal levels of insulin, reducing the “hidden risk” of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • According to the dietician, the focus is on high quality protein, healthy fats, rich in fiber, regular exercise, and processed foods and refined carbs.
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According to research presented at the 2020 European and International Obesity Congress, carbohydrate counts, not calories alone, can promote weight loss for people struggling on a regular diet, especially those with diabetes.

This is because many of the 75% of people with obesity may have inadvertent insulin resistance, which can stall weight loss efforts, lead author and registered dietitian Ellen Govers said in an online presentation.

In the study, researchers in the Netherlands compared three types of weight-loss diets in 380 obese patients with type 2 diabetes, including a calorie-restriction diet, a low-carb diet, and a 6×6 diet, which is a three-stage low- Carb program.

They found that the 6×6 diet was twice as effective as the standard calorie-restricted diet, helping patients lose weight, lower insulin resistance, and lower blood pressure, without medication.

This suggests that the general weight loss approach of considering calories instead of macro nutrients such as carb, fat, and protein may not be effective for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or other issues with insulin sensitivity .

“This is still the mainstream opinion about weight loss in primary care – calorie restriction and physical activity are well enough, and one calorie is one calorie,” said Gowers. “This is true in many people, but a very large portion of the population of obese people lose weight after weight loss of 3%. We think insulin resistance is the problem.”

Cutting carbs temporarily, and increasing fiber and protein in your diet, can help.

The 6×6 diet consists of three stages of carb-cutting, combined with a holistic diet such as eliminating processed foods, increasing protein and fiber, and eating vegetables with every meal. The diet does not restrict calories in any way, and patients are encouraged to eat healthy fats such as fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

In the first phase, patients increase their carb intake by no more than 36 grams a day, and increase their protein intake by 1.2 grams or more per kilogram of body weight, ideally by limiting meat consumption, and All cut the wine.

But very low levels of daily carbs are temporarily part of the initial phase of the diet, Govers said.

The second phase of the diet increases carb intake, and in the third phase, once a person achieves their initial weight loss goal, they can slowly reintroduce even more carbs into their diet. .

When they stop losing weight, they discover that they have used optimum carb intake at their personal level, and this can be used to maintain a healthy weight according to the goverment.

“It’s a very personal need. Everyone has their own carbohydrate needs, and it also matters to healthy people,” she said.

In the 6×6 plan, 46.9% of patients lost 5% or more body weight in 12 months, and 40% normalized their blood sugar levels, compared to 40% and 30%, a standard low-carb On a diet that limits carbohydrate intake to 50 to 100 carbs a day.

The plan was significantly more successful for patients than the calorie-less low-fat diet, in which patients ate 600 fewer calories per day with an average amount of carbs than normal.

Insulin resistance can be a ‘hidden disease’ associated with obesity, heart disease and cancer

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose. Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to that hormone and is less effective at transferring glucose to cells for energy, causing spikes in blood sugar and later health issues. Eating carbs increases the blood sugar level, which can increase this problem.

Gowers explained that this very low-carb approach can help with weight loss even without reducing calories, as people with insulin resistance may be particularly susceptible to weight gain in response to a standard diet that includes 50% or more daily. Calories may be included. Of carbs.

Insulin resistance can also increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. People suffering from obesity may be particularly at risk, Govers said, but it also affects those who appear healthy. A blood test is the best way to determine whether insulin resistance is an issue.

“It’s not just about measuring and measuring waist circumference, it’s more about physiology and seeing how healthy the patient is,” she said.

Diet alone is not enough – exercise, mental health and lifestyle are also important

The 6×6 plan includes exercise and other lifestyle factors that are critical to its success, Govers said.

In addition to cutting carbs, patients are asked to exercise for at least two to three times a day a week, which ideally involves endurance training.

Govers also cautioned that dieticians and weight loss professionals should be aware of the potential for hidden eating disorders in customers.

“A health professional has to get it settled before starting any treatment,” she said.

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