In the midst of the low-carb craze, a new study suggests that by eating lots of carbohydrates and little fat, it is possible to lose weight without actually cutting calories - and without exercising, either.
The study was small, consisting of just 34 overweight adults who either ate the recommended diet for three months; ate the recommended diet and exercised regularly; or ate pretty much what they usually eat.
All meals were prepared for participants, who were instructed to eat as much as they wanted. They also were told to return any uneaten food, which the researchers said enabled them to calculate calorie intake.
Many doctors dispute whether people can lose weight without reducing their food intake, and at least one questioned the study's accuracy.
But the diet is more compatible with conventional notions of healthful eating than the fatty, low-carbohydrate Atkins and South Beach diets.
Participants on the recommended diet lost about 7 pounds without cutting calories and without exercise, and almost 11 pounds with 45 minutes of stationary bike-riding four times weekly. The control group lost no weight, reports &to=http://www.alwayson-network.com' target=_blank>AlwaysOn
Foods on the successful diets included high-fiber cereal, vegetarian chili, whole-wheat spaghetti, many fruits and vegetables, and skim milk. Daily calories totaled about 2,400, similar to participants' usual consumption.
The control group also received prepared meals with similar calories, but the foods included sausage, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, French fries, whole milk and fewer fruits and vegetables.