The Atkins low-carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight, and it is followed closely by a balanced Mediterranean diet. A low-fat diet came in a poor third, and people who used it lost around 40 per cent less weight than those who were on the Atkins regime.
Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel put 322 people who were moderately obese on one of the three weight-losing approaches, and monitored their progress for two years.
At the end of the study, those on a low-fat diet had lost an average of 3.3 kg, while those eating a Mediterranean diet lost 4.6 kg and the Atkins diet achieved an average weight loss of 5.5 kg.
The Atkins diet was also the most effective for lowering the 'bad' HDL cholesterol, which fell by 20 per cent over the two years.
(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2008; 359: 229-41).