Weight-Loss Maintenance Requires More Calories If Eating Low-Carb Versus High-Carb

Low-Carb: Spaghetti squash “spaghetti” with meaty sauce

From The Journal of Nutrition:

In this analysis of a large feeding study, we observed higher estimated energy requirement on a low- compared with high-carbohydrate diet during weight-loss maintenance. The magnitude of this effect (about 200 to 300 kcal/d, or ∼50 kcal/d for every 10% decrease in carbohydrate as a proportion of total energy) and the numerical order across groups (Low-Carb > Moderate-Carb > High-Carb) are commensurate with previously reported changes in TEE [total energy expenditure], supporting the carbohydrate-insulin model.

Source: Energy Requirement Is Higher During Weight-Loss Maintenance in Adults Consuming a Low- Compared with High-Carbohydrate Diet | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic

In other words, in order to maintain weight loss, you have to (or can) eat more calories if you’re eating low-carb versus high-carb. If your chosen calories are expensive, this could be a drawback. On the other hand, many folks who lose weight complain that they just can’t eat very much or they’ll gain the weight right back. So, if they eat low-carb style, they CAN eat more……calories. Just not more Doritos and Ding-Dongs.

Steve Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

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