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Let’s Stop Counting Calories

Our philosophy has been re-affirmed in a world-class clinical trial by one of the most pre-eminent medical centers in the world.

On Tuesday, February 20th, Anahad O’Connor, a research-driven journalist at the New York Times, wrote a thoughtful surrounding a recently published JAMA study on how the key to weight loss is not quantity, but quality. To all our clients, past and present, the findings of the 609 person, $8mm clinical trial are not a surprise.

Participants in the randomized, clinical trial were divided into two groups. One followed a high quality, low fat (HLF) diet, with approximately 30% of calories coming from fat, 50% from carbohydrates, and 20% from protein. The other followed a high quality, low carbohydrate diet (HLC) with approximate macronutrient contributions of 30% carbohydrate, 50% fat and 20% protein. While the macronutrient distribution of the diets differed, in both cases the groups were asked to eliminate added sugar, refined grains and processed foods.

The HLF (low fat) group consumed carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes and vegetables while the HLC (low carb) group focused on choosing high quality fat sources from salmon, nuts, avocados, grass-fed beef, etc. In simplistic terms, you could consider the HLF diet to be Plantable-esque and the HLC diet to be ketogenic-esque. The researchers compared the effect of the HLF diet to the HLC diet on weight change at 12 months and looked at whether the effects were related to genotype pattern or insulin secretion.

The results? The trial yielded a number of really interesting results, which are fodder for further commentary beyond this article — stay tuned. The bottom line however, is:

  1. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight. Approximately 12 lbs over the 12 month study period. (We suggest that Professor Christopher Gardner from Stanford Prevention Research Center and the leader of the clinical trial use Euphebe (now called Plantable) to get those results from our 28-day Reboot though, next time!).
  2. It also didn’t matter if the participants had a genetic variant that pre-disposed them towards a more fat-burning or carbohydrate-burning metabolism. Again, there was no impact and the results were the same!
  3. To lose weight, the participants didn’t need to count or restrict calories — what freedom!
  4. What did matter, however, and what was synergistic across both groups, was the communality of minimal added sugar, refined grains and processed foods. Sound familiar?

This is Plantable’s basal philosophy:

  1. Eliminate added sugar and help people kick the addiction to sugar during the Reboot
  2. Swap refined grains for whole
  3. Replace all processed foods with real, high-fiber, nutrient-dense meals
  4. Making these changes enables your biochemistry to drive your desired healthy behavior

While this particular trial is over, you can still do Plantable for yourself — only get the results considerably faster 😊.