The role of dietary protein in obesity
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review › Research › peer-review
Protein-rich diets are surging in popularity for weight loss. An increase in diet-induced thermogenesis, better preservation of fat-free mass, and enhanced satiety with greater dietary protein intakes may lead to increased energy expenditure and decreased energy intake; and thus promote a more negative energy balance that facilitates weight loss. Results from large randomized trials and meta-analyses of many smaller trials indicate that high-protein diets typically induce significantly greater amounts of weight loss than conventional low-fat or high-carbohydrate diets during the early, rapid weight loss phase (3-6 months), but differences between diets are attenuated and no longer significant during the late, slow weight loss phase (12-24 months). Gradually decreasing adherence may be responsible for this observation; in fact, dietary adherence, rather than macronutrient composition, is likely the major predictor of long-term weight loss success. Recently, some randomized trials evaluated the efficacy of high-protein (vs. normal-protein) diets consumed ad libitum during weight loss maintenance, i.e. after clinically significant weight loss. Weight regain may be smaller with high-protein diets in the short-term (3-12 months), but longer studies are needed to confirm this. Given the lack of conclusive evidence in favor of high-protein diets, or any other dietary pattern, it is reasonable to conclude that no individual nutrient is a friend or a foe when it comes to weight loss and its maintenance. Therefore, any diet that best suits one's dietary habits and food preferences is likely to be better adhered to, and thus lead to more successful long-term weight loss.
|Journal||Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- Faculty of Science - Excess weight, Weight loss, Weight maintenance, Macronutrient composition, Energy restriction, Low-carbohydrate diet