For people who suffer from obesity, heart disease or diabetes, a low energy diet may be an effective way to lose weight.
Those are the findings of recent studies that looked at the effects low energy diets could have for weight loss, cardiac disease, and metabolic disease. While dieting has previously been thought of as ineffective for weight loss, these new studies suggest that they can be effective for people who are overweight or obese.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. For people with type 2 diabetes, losing weight can be challenging as special attention has to be paid towards their diets and blood sugar levels.
Low energy diets involve restricting calorie intake, eating less calories than would be normally recommended. On a low energy diet, foods low in calories, such as fruits, vegetables, whole gains, and skinless chicken, are often eaten.
In one study, researchers looked at the effect of a low energy diet over a five-month period. For the study, 296 men and women who were overweight or obese participated. Some of the participants had no obesity-related health conditions, while others suffered from insulin resistance or hypothyroidism.
In the study, all of the participants were placed on a diet that was 1,000 calories below what they should be eating, based on their activity level. The diets were made up of 50 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, and 20 percent protein.
By the end of the five months, the diet was found to help reduce the body weight, metabolic age, and body mass index (BMI) of participants. As well, the diet was found to lower body fat percentages and reduce the risk of heart disease.
A meta-analysis on low energy diets found similar results. Researchers looked at nine different studies concerning the impact of low energy diets on people with type 2 diabetes. The results of the meta-analysis found that low energy diets were more effective than other interventions for these patients, helping them lose more weight.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Calyniuk, B., et al., “The effectiveness of the low energy diet in overweight and obese adults,” Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, 2016; 67(2):137-146, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27289509.
Rehackova, L., et al., “Efficacy and acceptability of very low energy diets in overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analyses,” Diabetic Medicine, Diabetic Medicine, 2016 May; 33(5):580-91, doi: 10.1111/dme.13005.