There has been a great deal of controversy about the best diet for weight loss and maintenance. Experts have been debating the pros and cons of high or low protein as well as high or low carbohydrate consumption. A large European study addressed this very issue. Investigators enrolled 1200 adults who had lost weight on a very low-calorie diet. They were randomly assigned to one of five diets for six months to see which one was best for maintaining weight loss.
Fewer subjects on high-protein or low-glycemic index diets dropped out of the study. These people also did better at keeping their weight off: about 2 pounds better, on average. The researchers conclude that a modest increase in protein content and a modest reduction in the glycemic index was modestly beneficial. High glycemic index foods make blood sugar and insulin rise rapidly after eating. They include starches like potatoes, rice and bread or sugars found in juice and soft drinks.

[New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 25, 2010]

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  1. Klp

    I was wondering if it is not just specific foods but also what you eat them with? I have been told that my penchant for eating fruit by itself is not good and that I should add a protein like nuts.

  2. F. B.

    I’m 56, male, and for about 2 months now I’ve been using the “paleo diet”. I cook what I eat: meat, lots of vegetables, eat berries, nuts. (no legumes, dairy, grain) My (medium) arthritis in my hands has disappeared!:) I have a lot less inflammation in general! I sleep better (but still too short! :( about 5 hrs straight).
    Before the diet I’d always walked about an hour a day with effort. Now though, I’ve still not lost weight but I feel a lot stronger than before the diet. My walk is much faster more stable, effortless! This could be due to some food allergy that I’ve eliminated but given the widespread digestion problems of the population I think this is worth considering. Read a lot before you try this diet. There are issues that you must be aware of.

  3. fbl

    Over the last ten years I’ve lost slightly over 100 pounds without dieting. I’d read Dr. Mercola’s article about eating for your body type and bought the book. I started adjusting my diet and have been working on it all these years. Some years I lost only 3-4 pounds and others a lot more.
    One of the interesting things is that my appetite has also changed tremendously. Smaller portions seem to satisfy me. If I get a craving I go for it and then I’m satisfied. Yes, even with sweets! I am a protein type but yes, do binge on carbos from time to time.
    Although I am a protein type my son is a mixed type and several years ago he was feeling very tired. I had him take Dr. Mercola’s test and found out he is a mixed type. He was having one dip of ice cream several times a week so cut it out and only ate it on Sunday’s. It made a huge difference and the fatigue problem was solved!

  4. amychs

    I’ve struggled with weight for years, finding it almost impossible to lose weight. I started on a low glycemic diet 9 months ago and started losing weight immediately. It’s been the easiest way to lose weight I’ve ever tried, plus I feel better than I have on any diet. I printed off a list of glycemic indexes of foods. I try to eat mostly foods with an index under 60, occasionally eating foods in the medium range (60-75).

  5. DWD

    Why do researchers concentrate on the glycemic index and not glycemic load? Index does not tell how much carbs are actually in a given item, only how fast they are converted in the body.
    Not sure the accuracy of the data, but this author does give an extended discussion of index vs load and a long list of foods with the index and load for each.

  6. abigail

    Does the rice to be avoided in the study include brown rice and in particular basmati brown rice? I have read that basmati rice is good for people who have problems with carbohydrates, diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, etc.

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