I enjoyed reading the results from a recent study by Associate Professor Greg Cooney, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Although I’m personally quite convinced that there’s only one way of loosing weight; to adjust energy intake or usage, I have heard various other arguments. There has even been quite the misconception that it’s possible to loose weight only by burning fat instead of carbohydrates. This idea has also been suggested in scientific papers, and adopted by several fad diets.
Now, Prof. Cooney and his team has found evidence that this effect is non existent, there is no magic bullet.
“The energy that fuels your body can come from fats, proteins or carbohydrates. You won’t know which because the end result is ATP, or cellular energy.”
The researchers used mice which was genetically altered to burn fat in preference to carbohydrates, to show that the mice would convert unburned carbohydrate into fat. This resulted in the body weight and composition to be the same as normal mice. The enzyme they changed was ACC2 (acetyl-CoA carboxylase), which controls whether a cell burns fats or carbohydrates.
“Your body will use the energy it needs and store the leftover fats, proteins or carbohydrates as fat. When you do the sums, it’s ultimately a matter of calories in and calories out.”
I hope this settles it once and for all, weight loss or gain is only a factor of energy input (food) versus energy usage (exercise).
The key message is that the best way to loose weight is to adjust either energy input or output while eating a healthy and balanced diet, such as a whole-plant-based-diet.