People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to lose weight by consuming fewer total calories, regardless of whether they eat a high protein or high carbohydrate diet, according to a new University of Otago study. The study included 419 moderately overweight people between the ages of 35 and 75 with type 2 diabetes who were prescribed one of two diets to follow for two years. Both diets were low in fat, but one was high in protein and the other was high in carbohydrates. "We decided to do this study as weight loss is very important in terms of control of blood sugar levels and many people with diabetes are seriously overweight," says study author Jeremy Krebs. "However, there has been a lot of medical and public debate about the best way to achieve this, and which diets may be the most effective over the long term." Study participants received support from dietitians and used food diaries to track diet and weight loss. After two years, there was no significant difference in the weight loss achieved by the two groups. Weight loss appeared to be achieved by consuming less fat, which reduced total calorie intake. The researchers conclude that long-term weight loss success requires reducing the total number of calories consumed, eating less saturated fat, eating more fiber, and adopting a diet that is flexible enough to stay on for a long time. "In our study 30 percent of the original participants dropped out because they couldn`t maintain the diet they were prescribed," says Krebs. "Even those who stuck to the diet, more or less, did not reach the level of protein or carb intake recommended by the study over the two year period, which shows how difficult it is for people to change from their habitual diet."