People often ask us what the best macronutrient distribution is for weight loss. Macronutrient distribution is just a fancy way of saying how many of your daily calories come from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The answer to that question is that it doesn’t really matter. The most important factor in weight loss is your caloric intake. What we mean by that is that it wouldn’t matter if you ate 2000 calories worth of chocolate cake or 2000 calories worth of broccoli, at the end of the day the effect on your weight would be the same. Although both of those options are likely to leave you feeling unsatisfied and maybe a little sick to your stomach.
There is one caveat, although it doesn’t matter where your calories come from when you are trying to lose weight, some calories are better quality than others. This can help to explain why people lose weight when they follow the Ketogenic diet (high fat, low protein, very low carb) or the Atkins diet (high fat, high protein, very low carb) or the Paleo diet (high fat, high protein, low carb). It still comes down to calories but fat and protein digest more slowly than carbohydrates and as a result they keep us feeling fuller for longer, which usually means that we snack less often and we eat smaller portions. On top of that, most diets, including the three listed above put a significant focus on foods that have a lot of fibre and a higher water content, such as fruits and vegetables, which also help us to feel fuller for longer but cost us very few calories.
The bottom line is that in order to lose weight you need to have a negative energy balance, which means you need to burn more calories in a day than you take in. Different eating patterns can make this easier, so choose one that fits your lifestyle and make sure that you enjoy the way that you are eating because if you don’t enjoy it, it’s probably not sustainable.