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Low-carb Paleo diet aids weight loss by boosting metabolism, say scientists

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Obesity scientists said adopting a low carb Paleo diet enhances weight loss by boosting metabolism and helping your body burn more fat, the Courier-Journal reported.

Dr. Steve Smith, science director for the Florida Hospital-Sanford Burnham Translational Research Institute, is currently researching why low carb diets have proven so effective for weight loss. He noted that low-carb diets have routinely beaten low-fat diets for weight loss in several studies.

Smith's research results are similar to those reached by scientists at Umeå University in Sweden and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The two-year study tracked 70 overweight, post-menopausal women who were assigned either a low-fat diet or a low-carb (higher-fat) Paleo diet.

“Something about eating a low-carb diet causes people to burn more calories in ways we don’t yet understand,” said obesity researcher Sheila Collins, professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. “Go Paleo [if you're trying to lose weight]. Cavemen didn’t have many carbs around.”

Study: Paleo Diet Twice as Effective for Weight Loss and Burning Belly Fat

The results indicated that the low-carb Paleo diet was twice as effective for weight loss, melting belly fat, and controlling diabetes as a low-fat diet.

Study participants were measured for weight, cholesterol and blood sugars after six months on their respective diets, and again after two years. The results showed the Paleo dieters lost significantly more weight (14 pounds) compared to the low-fat dieters (5.7 pounds).

What's more, the low-carb, high-fat Paleo dieters lost four inches from their waists after six months, compared to just two inches for the low-fat dieters. In previous studies, the Paleo diet has beaten low fat diets at controlling cholesterol and diabetes.

The results are noteworthy because older women — especially those who are post-menopausal — have historically reported having a hard time losing weight, especially from their mid-sections, due to slower metabolisms and hormone disruptions.

Researchers said Paleo dieters also reported feeling more satisfied and less hungry than low-fat dieters, which makes sense, since fat makes food taste better and boosts satiety.

The Paleo diet emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods.

It's the most popular diet around today, and has a large celebrity following, including Joe Manganiello, Kellan Lutz, Adriana Lima, and Tim McGraw (who credited Paleo and CrossFit for his unbelievable 40-pound weight loss).

The Paleo diet has also helped celebrity moms regain their hot pre-baby bodies. Megan Fox lost almost all her pregnancy weight just five months after giving birth to her second son. Similarly, TV star Kristin Cavallari lost 20 pounds just two months after giving birth to her second child, thanks to a low-carb, Paleo-style diet.

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