Review of Catabolic Diets
Catabolic Weight Loss Diets
The Catabolic Claim
The catabolic diet claims to have identified certain foods which require more calories to digest than they themselves contain. Put simply, you eat a food containing (say) 50 calories, but you burn more than 50 calories digesting it. This calorie deficit causes you to lose weight.
Catabolic Diets Not Supported By Medical Evidence
Contrary to the idea that eating certain food can trigger a calorie-deficit, all relevant clinical studies on diet and weight loss show that whenever food is digested - irrespective of whether the meal or snack is high/low in carbohydrates, high/low in fat, or high/low in protein - energy (calories) is taken in by the body. No amount of digestive activity or dietary thermogenesis has been shown to create the kind of reverse-calorie effect that underpins catabolic diet plans.
Negative Calorie Effect Remains Undocumented
In the history of weight loss diets and human dieting, there has never been one single documented case (to our knowledge) of a person losing weight by digesting food. But don't let our view of catabolic diets influence you - ask any doctor, talk to any dietitian or nutritionist.
So-Called Catabolic Foods
Foods alleged to be catabolic typically include fruits, such as: apples, apricots, blackberries, currants, limes, kumquats, mango, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon, cantaloupe; nearly all vegetables; plus a few meats, such as: white fish, crabs, oysters, mussels and buffalo.
Diet Menu Composed of Catabolic Food
Any diet menu composed only of meals or snacks with these so-called catabolic foods is likely to be low enough in calories to cause weight loss, although this weight reduction will be entirely unconnected with any "catabolic" effect. The truth is, eating any very-low-calorie diet is likely to lead to a calorie deficit and therefore weight reduction.
Catabolic Diets - Our Opinion
Claims made in catabolic or negative-calorie type diet plans that digesting certain types of food will make you lose weight, are untrue and completely unproven. We recommend avoidance of this type of fad diet. If you really want to reduce weight, choose a balanced healthy diet and take regular exercise. For good choices, see: Best Diets
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