How Long Does Your Diet Last?

We all know how we feel when we’re on a low carb diet: bloated, fat, and unhappy … and here’s the kicker — the low carb diet doesn’t last long. This leads many health-conscious people to believe that any kind of diet or dieting is going to be more successful than any kind of diet, and that it’s easier than it sounds, and that no matter how long your diet lasts, eventually you’ll get fat. We found a study that suggests this is far from the case.

If you have an energy deficit and your diet lasts very long and your weight starts coming down rapidly, you might be tempted to believe that the diet is working, and you should stick with it, and keep chugging. But, as we’ve learned from other health experiments, the more often you go on a low carb diet, the longer those foods remain in your gut and the longer it takes for you to feel better and start to lose weight. So, to quote the research, it’s not the diet that is working, it’s you. The study also found that the number of times a participant’s diet lasted was an important determinant of weight loss. It may not be all about the diet, but the more times your diet lasts and the less frequently you go on a low carb diet, the better your chances of feeling better by the time your diet is over.

For more on what it means to do a weight loss diet the “right way”, click here . This study was sponsored by Atkins Nutritionals.

So is that what it boils down to? After a few days of doing the low carb, high fat diet, the only difference you’ll see in your gut bacteria is that you’ll have a higher diversity of bacteria as seen by this study. Of course, this was measured by doing fecal sampling from six people who were all on the same low carb, high fat, and a placebo. One person was also doing an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as part of a study. After the subjects finished their six-day regimen, the researchers took samples of their gsamples, which included gut bacteria samples. One-to-one comparisons were made, but for the results to be statistically robust, the difference between the groups was much larger than would be achieved by such comparisons. So, basically, it was all about the bacteria. It sounds like the low carb diet was working for these people, even if the number of carbs they were getting was very low, and they could keep their gut bacteria diversity and still lose weight. This study also looked at the effectiveness of high FODMAP diets in treating gastrointestinal complaints , but the study was short — just 18 days. No one knows how long a high FODMAP diet lasts.

When most people hear that “low carb” has been shown to produce good results, they tend to think that those people were eating a very low carb diet. That’s because low carb has become synonymous with low carb, despite the fact — to most people — that low carb can result in a very different diet . In particular, when people think of a low carb diet — one low carbohydrate — high fat diet, they think of those that emphasize vegetables which have a high glycemic index (GI). That’s right, carbs come out of your stomach and into your bloodstream first. They take a little time to do that because they are digested first, but they quickly cause blood sugar levels to soar because there’s so much sugar in them. So the GI is used as a means to measure the effect of an entire carb load. As I’ve written about on many occasions , carbs that have a high GI are often not healthy ones because they can lead to problems with a very slow blood sugar response.

That includes most vegetables . According to Harvard researcher Harold McGee (a proponent of a low carb diet) vegetables that are rich in carbohydrates (which have a high GI) may be as harmful as “bad” carbs in terms of causing type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome . And there’s more to eating them.

According to a report from the American Diabetes Association , the USDA’s recommendations say that high carb and low fiber vegetables will provide only 9 percent of our Recommended Dietary Allowances ( RDA) of fiber . That’s half the fiber that you’d get from fruits and vegetables. You’re not getting the complete package.