Why Your Low-Fat Low-Calorie Diet is Making You Fatter [Diet trends]

After hundreds of granola bars, fat free yoghurt and Facebook status’ the realization has hit: your fat-free, low-calorie diet has done nothing for you. Nothing. Zilch. Na-da. And were the scales lying to you, or did you actually gain a few kilograms here?

This isn’t as uncommon as you would think. And no, it’s not because you have some weird diet proof body that is immune to all things healthy. The fault lies in the diet you chose.

The big fat truth about fat-free diets

Firstly there is no such thing as a fat free diet. However some diets try squirm around this by lowering your intake of fats. However low-fat diets are the most widespread yet flawed diets in existence. This has been circling  since the 1960s when the “fat makes you fat” myth emerged after publication of now-debunked research by scientist Ansel Keys.

But, you know, that was in the 60s.


And a lot has changed in fifty years. Your mother doesn’t wear spiral curls and you won’t find the Beatles being played on everyone’s pocket sized radios. Also new scientific studies have been published and updated. Including a study by Harvard Medical School claiming that only some fats (such as trans fats from fried food) increase the size of your waist.

Also a book called The Big Fat Surprise quotes numerous studies which claim small amounts of some fats can aid in losing weight. This includes monounsaturated fats from nuts and avocados, and saturated fats from coconut oil.

Cracking down on low-calories

Just like fat-free diets, calorie free diets simply don’t exist. But if I were you, I wouldn’t jump on the low-calorie bandwagon too quickly either. Stuff.co.nz explains it best,

If diets high in calories cause an increase in weight, there’s a natural assumption a drop in calories will result in a drop in dress size, thus supporting the low-calorie diet. There’s some truth in this – many diets work initially because they require basic calorie reduction – but science has proven there is a significant caveat with this weight loss strategy: all calories are not created equal.

That is, 100 calories (418 kilojoules) of meat isn’t broken down and processed in the body the same as 100 calories of chocolate.

This can be summed up by a study from a Harvard School of Public Health which claimed, “just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.”

Not just ineffective… these diets are also dangerous!


Remember what i once said about the dangers of the green diet trend? These diets slice out so many foods and rob your body of micro-nutrients which leads to malnourishment. Wow! This might cause your body to cling to fat meaning your waist size won’t change either. Sorry about it.

Then the best type of diet is…

Low-carb! This is because the best current research data and analysis supports the low-carb philosophy, even when research subjects on low-fat diets are also calorie-restricted where their low-carb counterparts are not.


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