Say good night, Jenny. The weight-loss advice industry may just be one big scam after all.

Occam’s razor meets the Emperor’s new clothes in this new study, referenced below.

It doesn’t matter what you eat. It’s how much. Period. All you need is a calorie counter book, a kitchen scale, and a pen and paper.

And before all of you sticklers write in to say that certain people need to watch their cholesterol and that fat and inflammation cause problems, we know, we know. The only point is that for weight loss per se, you don’t need specially packaged food, you don’t need a special diet hyped by a new book, and you probably don’t need to spend a ton of money on weight-loss advice and gimmicks.

Just eat less.

Now, that’s easier said than done.

But you don’t need to go broke doing it.


Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of 4 weight-loss diets differing in fat, protein, and carbohydrate on fat mass, lean mass, visceral adipose tissue, and hepatic fat: results from the POUNDS LOST trial.

de Souza RJ, Bray GA, Carey VJ, Hall KD, Leboff MS, Loria CM, Laranjo NM, Sacks FM, Smith SR.


Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA and Endocrine Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.



Weight loss reduces body fat and lean mass, but whether these changes are influenced by macronutrient composition of the diet is unclear.


We determined whether energy-reduced diets that emphasize fat, protein, or carbohydrate differentially reduce total, visceral, or hepatic fat or preserve lean mass.


In a subset of participants in a randomized trial of 4 weight-loss diets, body fat and lean mass (n = 424; by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and abdominal and hepatic fat (n = 165; by using computed tomography) were measured after 6 mo and 2 y. Changes from baseline were compared between assigned amounts of protein (25% compared with 15%) and fat (40% compared with 20%) and across 4 carbohydrate amounts (35% through 65%).


At 6 mo, participants lost a mean (±SEM) of 4.2 ± 0.3 kg (12.4%) fat and 2.1 ± 0.3 kg (3.5%) lean mass (both P < 0.0001 compared with baseline values), with no differences between 25% and 15% protein (P ≥ 0.10), 40% and 20% fat (P ≥ 0.34), or 65% and 35% carbohydrate (P ≥ 0.27). Participants lost 2.3 ± 0.2 kg (13.8%) abdominal fat: 1.5 ± 0.2 kg (13.6%) subcutaneous fat and 0.9 ± 0.1 kg (16.1%) visceral fat (all P < 0.0001 compared with baseline values), with no differences between the diets (P ≥ 0.29). Women lost more visceral fat than did men relative to total-body fat loss. Participants regained ∼40% of these losses by 2 y, with no differences between diets (P ≥ 0.23). Weight loss reduced hepatic fat, but there were no differences between groups (P ≥ 0.28). Dietary goals were not fully met; self-reported contrasts were closer to 2% protein, 8% fat, and 14% carbohydrate at 6 mo and 1%, 7%, and 10%, respectively, at 2 y.


Participants lost more fat than lean mass after consumption of all diets, with no differences in changes in body composition, abdominal fat, or hepatic fat between assigned macronutrient amounts. This trial was registered at as NCT00072995.

[PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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