A The first of the year is a time when many people choose to try and lose weight.  For decades, conventional wisdom has been telling us to “eat less and exercise more”. There is truth to this – it will cause weight loss.  However, when you’re starving your body for nutrients, it starts breaking down everything, including fat and muscle.  In fact, in some instances of using low-fat, low-calorie diets for weight loss, almost half, roughly 40% of the lost weight comes from lean muscle.

At its worst, this form of dieting – putting the body into a near state of starvation – can “wreck” normal metabolic function, resulting in a situation wherein the metabolic rate stays low, even if the person starts to regain the lost weight.

There is one way to maximize body weight change: control (don’t eliminate) carbohydrates.  Test subjects were randomly assigned to two different diets: either a low calorie-low fat diet or a low-carb/calorie unrestricted diet.

Over the six month study, the low-carb/”eat as much as you want” group lost more than double the amount of fat.  Not only did the low-carb group lose more fat than the low-fat group, but it actually increased lean muscle mass during the course of the study.