Calories consumed not type of diet matter

So I’m eight months into my effort to lose 25 pounds this year and I’m stuck at 183 pounds, just eight pounds shy of my goal. I must admit it’s frustrating because nothing I seem do to has enabled me to break the 180-pound mark.

My approach has been to combine exercise with diet modification and in general I’ve done pretty well with both aspects of this self-imposed program. But I suspect I need to do a bit more on the diet side, which is the hardest part for me. Whether it’s the bag of chips in the mid-afternoon or the second beer watching the Phillies, I fall just a bit off my goal on a fairly regular basis.

But enough about my diet fumbles, for those of us trying to find a way to shed the extra pounds or even more, a study led by Gary Foster of Temple University tracked two groups of obese dieters and found both low-fat and low-carb diets were essentially equal.

The researchers tracked 307 participants and both groups were about 15 pounds below where they started after two years. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Tuesday, found that low-carb diets did raise the level of patients HDL or “good” cholesterol more than the low-fat diet, but otherwise the two approaches were essentially equivalent.

“Adherence to any diet is going to be what gets you weight loss,” said Foster, director of Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education, who led the study at three medical centers. More than the type of diet, it is how well you follow it that determines weight loss, he added.

So, at least for me, the lesson is I need to get a bit better at avoiding those mid-afternoon slip ups, which means staying away from the office vending machines and those Friday soft pretzels from The Inquirer's online editor.

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