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Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):1023-30.

Long-term effects of 2 energy-restricted diets differing in glycemic load on dietary adherence, body composition, and metabolism in CALERIE: a 1-y randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA.



There remains no consensus about the optimal dietary composition for sustained weight loss.


The objective was to examine the effects of 2 dietary macronutrient patterns with different glycemic loads on adherence to a prescribed regimen of calorie restriction (CR), weight and fat loss, and related variables.


A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of diets with a high glycemic load (HG) or a low glycemic load (LG) at 30% CR was conducted in 34 healthy overweight adults with a mean (+/-SD) age of 35 +/- 6 y and body mass index (kg/m(2)) of 27.6 +/- 1.4. All food was provided for 6 mo in diets controlled for confounding variables, and subjects self-administered the plans for 6 additional months. Primary and secondary outcomes included energy intake measured by doubly labeled water, body weight and fatness, hunger, satiety, and resting metabolic rate.


All groups consumed significantly less energy during CR than at baseline (P < 0.01), but changes in energy intake, body weight, body fat, and resting metabolic rate did not differ significantly between groups. Both groups ate more energy than provided (eg, 21% and 28% CR at 3 mo and 16% and 17% CR at 6 mo with HG and LG, respectively). Percentage weight change at 12 mo was -8.04 +/- 4.1% in the HG group and -7.81 +/- 5.0% in the LG group. There was no effect of dietary composition on changes in hunger, satiety, or satisfaction with the amount and type of provided food during CR.


These findings provide more detailed evidence to suggest that diets differing substantially in glycemic load induce comparable long-term weight loss.

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