Eat More Carbs at Dinner to Increase Weight Loss? Seriously?

A recent study cited by the Los Angeles Times shows that eating a low-calorie diet in which carbohydrates have a bigger presence at dinner than spread throughout other times of the day, not only resulted in more weight loss, but appears to offer several healthful benefits, including improvements in glucose balance, insulin resistance, cholesterol levels and inflammation markers.  

Researchers randomly assigned 100 obese male and female Israeli police officers age 25 to 55 to one of two diets for six months: a standard low-calorie diet (this served as the control group), or a low-calorie diet that offered more carbohydrates at dinner. Both diets contained about 1,300 to 1,500 calories per day.

After six months the experimental group that ate more carbs at dinner saw more weight loss, body fat mass reduction and lower abdominal circumference than the control group. The experimental group also had higher satiety levels during the day than did the control group.  According to the study’s authors, this probablyoccurred because the experimental group had a smaller decrease in leptin levels, the hormone that tells the brain when the body is full, than did the control group. When leptin levels are very low, we feel hunger.

The study kept nutritional breakdowns the same for both groups: 20% protein, 30% to 35% fat, and 45% to 50% carbohydrate. But those in the experimental diet ate more protein than carbs at breakfast and lunch and ate more carbs at dinner, while the control group scattered their carbs more evenly throughout the day.

The study abstract sums it up like this: “A simple dietary manipulation of carbohydrate distribution appears to have additional benefits when compared to a conventional weight loss diet in individuals suffering from obesity.” The study was published online  in the  journal Obesity.

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Date: Wednesday, 13. April 2011 18:46
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