Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weight Regain

You've worked hard. You've lost all that weight on a low-carb lifestyle, and now you're going to gain it all back, right? Not necessarily.

A couple of studies indicate that those who stick to a low-carb lifestyle have a reasonable chance of maintaining at least part of their weight loss. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) tracks over 5,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. Most of these people have lost weight on low-calorie diets, but some have lost it on low-carb. In 2007 the NWCR reported a comparison of 96 low-carbers with 795 others, all of whom had lost at least 30 pounds and had maintained a weight loss for a year. At three years the low-carbers regained an average of 15.4 pounds and the others had regained 12.5 pounds, which was not a significant difference.

In 2005, AV Nielson and colleagues compared the efficacy of a low-carb versus a high-carb diet in the control of body weight in diabetic patients. At six months the low-carb group had lost an average of 25 pounds and the low-calorie group had lost an average of 4 pounds. In a followup paper published in 2006, Nielson reported that 7 of the 16 original low-carb patients retained the same bodyweight from 6 to 22 months or reduced it further, and all but one of the sixteen had lower weight at 22 months than at their entry into the study, even though they were not being closely monitored after the initial study was completed. For people who have lost weight successfully on low-carb, that's a very encouraging result.

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