In every study every done on weight loss, people who consumed fewer calories than they burned lost weight. It is guaranteed success.

But some people are in a hurry and diet fads come and go - martinis, gluten-free, tapeworms, they have all had their moment, yet low fat versus low sugar debates have been raging for decades.

A paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine weighs in and comes down on the size of low carbohydrates as being more effective for weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risk factors than a low-fat diet.

More than one third of American adults have at least one form of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease is linked to one third of all deaths. Low-carbohydrate diets are a popular strategy for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects are unknown, especially among diverse populations.

To compare the effects of a low-carbohydrate versus a low-fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors, researchers randomly assigned 148 men and women without clinical cardiovascular disease and diabetes to follow a low-carbohydrate (less than 40g a day) or low-fat diet (less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat).

All participants were classified as obese based on body mass index and just over half of the participants were black. Both the low-carbohydrate and the low-fat groups received dietary counseling at regular intervals but had no specific calorie or energy goals.

At one year, both black and white participants on the low-carbohydrate diet had greater decreases in weight, fat mass, and other cardiovascular risk factors than those on the low-fat diet. 

Article: doi:10.7326/M14-0180. Source: American College of Physicians