Low-Carb - Low Carb or Low Fat? The Discussion

Make up your mind to lose weight, and you already know exercise is going to be one of the things you'll need to do to reach your goal. But there's at least one thing even more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight…your diet.

Do your homework, and you'll find two of the most debated eating strategies to lose weight include low-carb diets and low-fat diets. Is one better than the other? It's not quite that simple. The truth is, you can lose weight by following either diet. Here's what you need to know about low-carb and low-fat diets.

Low-Fat Diets

Eat less fat. You've heard the advice before. But it's often misunderstood. Most people should eat less saturated fat (the kind found in red meats, butter, cheese, pizza, and many baked desserts).

Cut out most foods high in saturated fat, and it's easy to see how you can create a calorie deficit to help you lose weight. You'll still have some wiggle room in your diet for healthy-fat foods like nuts and seeds, olive oil, and fish. But there is a downside. Without a lot of fat in your diet, you'll feel hungrier and may find it harder to stick with a low-fat diet.

Low-Carb Diets

The Atkins Diet helped put low-carb dieting on the radar for a lot of people. But it's actually an eating strategy that's been used for a long time to promote weight loss, control blood sugar levels, and improve heart health.

Why does it work? Limiting carbs, especially simple carbs (the kind found in white bread, white rice, refined-grain pasta and cereal) eliminates a lot of calories per day, that could otherwise be quickly digested, raise blood sugar levels, and potentially be stored as fat. Low-carb diets also have an advantage over low-fat diets, because you're less likely to experience nagging feelings of hunger.

Need help choosing low-carb foods and meals to stay on track? Check out all the Low-Carbohydrate meal options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Which eating strategy is right for you? A low-fat diet, or a low-carb diet? If you're trying to lose weight, it's the eating plan you're most able to stick with for weeks or months to tip the scale in the right direction.