In a recent study, researchers discovered that people who ate low-carb diets saw a significant decrease in food craving, and a corresponding increase in eating — meaning that a switch to a low-carb diet may help you control your food intake and lose weight.
As you’ve read in other articles, most studies on low-carb diets show them to be effective in reducing cravings and improving food control. A new study finds that low-carb diets may also help people lose weight and keep it off.
The low-carb diet has been proven to be effective in weight loss. In fact, most good studies have shown that low-carb diets are superior to low-fat diets for losing weight.
This is mainly due to the impressive effect of carbohydrate restriction on suppressing appetite and metabolism, including lowering insulin levels, which makes it easier for people to access their fat reserves.
A new study has found that a low-carb diet can also promote weight loss by reducing food cravings and helping people eat less:
Nutrients 2019 : Changes in appetite and eating behaviour after a trial of carbohydrate restriction as part of a diet.
In this study, 19 overweight and obese adults followed a low-carbohydrate diet for four weeks. For the first two weeks, they received all of their food, totaling about 1,500 calories, 20 to 25 grams of pure carbohydrates and 100 grams of protein and fat per day. For the next two weeks, they followed a similar diet based on the low-carb education they had received, including advice on planning and preparing meals.
Study participants kept detailed dietary records, measured ketone levels to confirm compliance, and maintained close contact with the researchers and their collaborators throughout the study.
Before and after the low-carb diet, they completed a detailed questionnaire about their appetite for different types of food, such as those high in sugar, starch or fat. A category called Fast Food Fats included foods high in refined carbohydrates and fats: Pizza, fries, burgers. In addition, all participants were assessed before and after the study for their dietary control, including the likelihood of overeating in response to negative emotions.
At the end of the study, men had lost an average of 7.2 kg and women an average of 4.7 kg, and fasting insulin levels had decreased by an average of 34% in all participants. In addition, all men and women indicated that they were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the low-carb diet.
Although all participants on a low-carbohydrate diet had less appetite for most foods (except fruits and vegetables), women had more cravings for sweets than men. Moreover, sugar cravings decreased most in those who were initially the biggest sweet-toothed individuals.
Interestingly, the people who lost the most weight had the least cravings for fat. According to the study authors, this may be because people who preferred high-fat foods were able to eat more of them during a low-carb diet, which helped them stick with the diet and lose more weight in the final two weeks.
Finally, participants whose food cravings decreased most in response to carbohydrate restriction were best able to control their food intake, least likely to overeat, and least hungry.
So this was a small study and there was no control group with a different diet (it was actually a secondary analysis of the 2018 published study Low-carbohydrate diet in arterial stiffness).
But it confirms the results of previous studies in which people reported reduced cravings on low-carb diets. And of course, there are personal testimonials from hundreds of people who say that cutting back on carbs has dramatically reduced their cravings and helped them feel much more in control of their eating, which has allowed them to lose weight and keep it off as well.
Has a low-carb or keto diet helped you control your cravings and eat healthy?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does low carb diet reduce cravings?
Yes, low carb diets can reduce cravings.
Why do low carb diets reduce appetite?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It is a very effective weight loss tool because it forces the body to use fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. This causes the body to produce ketones in the liver, which can be used as an alternative energy source for the brain and other organs. The ketogenic diet also has many health benefits that are not seen with other diets such as improved blood sugar control, decreased inflammation and improved lipid profiles. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
What helps with low carb diet cravings?
Some people find that adding a little bit of fat to their diet helps with cravings. For example, if you are craving something sweet, try adding some coconut oil or butter to your coffee.
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