Low Carb(-ing) Reduces Fat & Fast Food (10-20%) Cravings Plus 60% Less Hunger After Meals in Obese Men/Women
|You always crave the foods you must not eat, right? No, ... a recent study finds decreases in sweet and starch cravings in obese individuals on low-carb diets.|
The reason? No, still no "metabolic advantage": reduced hunger and food cravings and the subsequently increased adherence and reduced energy intake - an assumption that isn't proven, but at least supported by Colette Heimowitz' latest paper. A paper based on a study that was sponsored by Atkins Nutritionals and smells of bias, but a study that's in line with millions of N=1 reports on the internet.
Would be interesting to compare keto to high-protein, not western diets, right?
All N=20 subjects (10 men and 10 women with a mean age o 40±8y, and a BMI in the red obesity zone of 34±3 kg/m²) completed the study with their main goal being to look better - not to be healthier, which ran as a poor second, along with family issues.
"[f]or the next 2 wks, subjects prepared their own meals with the goal of achieving a similar food intake. Subjects were surveyed regarding reasons for enrolling in the program, and at baseline (BL) and 4 wks, completed the Food Craving Inventory (cravings for foods that were fatty, sweet, high in CHO (starches), or categorized as fast foods), and the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) to assess food intake motivation" (Heimowitz 2017).
Figure 1: Macronutrient composition of the energy-reduced diets (intended deficit of ~1200kcal/day | Heimowitz 2017)
|Figure 2: Plot of the most relevant anthropological and psychological study outcomes (Heimowitz 2017).|
- 95% of subjects reported being somewhat satisfied to very satisfied with the meals,
- 60% felt less hunger after meals, and
- 75% reported reduced 'eating when bored'
What is particularly interesting is that the reduction in sweet cravings tended to be associated with a reduction with significant reductions in disinhibition and increases in cognitive restrained: over time, the subjects were thus more and more able to control their food intake and less susceptible to fall victim to their (now reduced) cravings - reduced cravings for sweets and starches and reduced cravings for fatty foods (11±7% | P<0.03) and fast food cravings (19±5% | P=0.0006), all without the often-heard-of difference between men and women (you know how women are supposed to crave sweets, and men fatty foods).
|Different Study Population = Different Goals, Different Outcome: "Low Carb Diets and Physical Performance - Recent Studies Show Performance Decrements in Average Joes + Athletes" | read more|
Without a follow-up study that compares the effects of a low-carb to an energy-equivalent control diet (ideally one that's high(er) in satiating proteins), the study at hand must be considered preliminary evidence.
Evidence that is, however, in line with the reports of many (formerly) obese low-carb fans all around the world - reports from lean individuals and athletes, as well as the results of studies comparing low- and high-carb diets head to head (e.g. Brehm 2003; ), on the other and, are much more inconsistent and suggest that metabolic, genetic and/or lifestyle differences may determine whether low-carbing will curb your appetite | Comment!
- Brehm, Bonnie J., et al. "A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 88.4 (2003): 1617-1623.
- Heimowitz, Colette, et al. "Changes in Food Cravings during Dietary Carbohydrate-restriction." The FASEB Journal 31.1 Supplement (2017): 643-23.