Choose High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet To Keep The Weight Off
Diets with High or Low Protein Content and Glycemic Index for Weight-Loss Maintenance
In a recent large European study (published in N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2102-2113 on November 25, 2010 ) by Larsen and colleagues, 1209 adults who had lost at least 8% of their initial weight using a low-calories diet were randomly assigned to various “maintenance” diets. These diets included a low-protein and low-glycemic-index diet, a low-protein and high-glycemic-index diet, a high-protein and low-glycemic-index diet, a high-protein and high-glycemic-index diet, or a control diet. In the analysis of participants who completed the study, only the low-protein–high-glycemic-index diet was associated with subsequent significant weight REGAIN. The authors concluded that even a modest increase in protein content and a modest reduction in the glycemic index led to an improvement in study completion and maintenance of weight loss.
This study is further validation of our approach to weight loss: the kind of foods we consume has more impact on our metabolism and thus our weight than calories. Of course, consuming too many calories leads to relapse and weight regain. However, within a caloric target, cutting back on carbohydrates (starches and sugar) and increasing lean protein yield better results both for weight loss and maintenance.