Though we’ve been reminded time and again that it’s not the most sustainable way of eating, cutting out carbs has been a go-to method of quickly shedding pounds for decades—from the time Dr. Robert Atkins burst on the scene in 1972 to the Paleo craze of today. But scientists are now saying that nixing bread and sugar actually isn’t the most efficient way to burn fat—while it works, there’s one method that does even better.
A new study shows that when following a diet of equivalent calories, those who cut fat rather than carbs are more likely to burn more body fat overall. It’s a pretty huge development since the popular belief for the last several years has been that filling up on healthy fats is a great way to stay slim (again, hello, Paleo). That still may be true—as is the idea that cutting carbs can whittle your waistline—but in the end, this research shows that it’s just not the best way to reduce overall body fat percentage: After having a small group of obese participants eat the same amount of calories for two weeks, the group that cut 85% of fat from their diet lost about 1.2 pounds per week, whereas those who cut carbs by 60% lost about 0.7 pounds per week.
In the end, while certainly interesting (and final, definitive proof that one method really is slightly superior to the other—slightly), it’s probably more efficient to do whatever works best for you, rather than get hung up on the nuances. Because they all work, just to different degrees.
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Have you had success with cutting carbs or fat? Tell us in the comments below!