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High-Protein Diets Maintain Weight Loss

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High-Protein Diets More Effective at Maintaining Weight Loss

According to a recent weight loss study, overweight people who lost weight on low-calorie diets were able to maintain their weight loss more effectively by following a higher protein diet.

Weight Loss Study

The study involved 120 people who had lost about 13 pounds in four weeks by following a very low-calorie diet. They were then split into two groups - one group followed a moderately restricted diet while the other group followed a diet similar in calories but higher in protein content.

As a partial replacement for lunch, the high-protein group received a protein drink that resulted in an additional 30 grams of protein per day. The high-protein diet provided 18 percent of its energy as protein, compared with 15 percent protein in the control diet.

Weight Regain Reduced on High Protein Diet

After six months, those on the high-protein diet had regained two pounds, while those on the control diet had regained about 6.6 pounds.

Further, body mass regained by those in the high-protein group was of fat-free mass, according to researchers.

Waist Circumference in Weight Loss Study

There were also differences in waist circumference at the end of the 6-month study. Those following the high-protein diet lost an average 1.2 cm around the waist while those on the control gained 0.5 cm.

High Protein Diet and Satiety

Also, those on the high-protein diet reported higher feelings of satiety and had a higher respiratory quotient than the control group.

Researchers concluded that additional protein intake may contribute to storage of fat-free mass and increase satiety and may result in improved weight maintenance.

Source: European Congress of Obesity Helsinki Finland, June 4, 2003

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