Protein diets cut calorie intake

October 31, 2000 in Weight Management

Protein diets cut calorie intake

New research presented at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity shows that the most successful diets for long-term weight loss actually cut back on fats. Other research suggests that the high-protein, high-fat diets do not work by altering the metabolism, as some diet gurus claim, but instead by cutting calories.

In the first study, researchers examined data from the National Weight Loss Registry, which includes information from more than 2,500 people who have maintained a loss of 30 pounds or more for at least one year. Of the 2,500 people, only 25 reported eating a very low carbohydrate diet. "Most people who achieved long-term weight loss success did so by consuming a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet," said researchers from the University of Colorado.

Results of another study found that a low carbohydrate diet resulted in an average weight loss of about 10% in 51 individuals, after 6 months. The study was partially funded by the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York. Its founder, Dr. Robert Atkins, champions a high-protein, high-fat diet at the expense of bread, pasta, potatoes and starch vegetables. The 12 people who followed the diet for one year lost an average of 11% of weight.

A third study at the meeting examined why the high-protein diet might work. "Obese persons who lose weight by consuming this type of diet do so by consuming (fewer) calories, not by altering body metabolism," said. Dr. Bernard V. Miller, the lead author. His study of overweight and obese adults who followed a low-carbohydrate diet consumed about 1,000 fewer calories a day on the diet than they took in before starting the diet.

These studies demonstrate that low carbohydrate diets can cause a decrease in total calorie intake, and thus can lead to weight loss.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.