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Weight Loss: High Protein Diet Vs Low Fat Diet – Which Is Better?

When it comes to weight loss diets, there are many out there. However, much research has shown that a moderate-protein diet is more effective than a traditional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet in reducing the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

study 1

A randomized study was conducted by Lisa A. Te Morenga and described in Nutritional Journal 2011, 10:40 to compare a high-protein and high-fiber diet for weight loss in women with a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

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The study enrolled 83 overweight women aged 18 to 65 for 8 weeks. The women were placed on a high-protein diet (30% protein, 40% carbohydrate) or a high-fiber diet (50% carbohydrate, >35 g fiber, 20% protein) with the goal of achieving a weight loss of 0.5–1 kg per week .

The results showed an average weight loss of 4.5 kg, a 4.0 kg reduction in body fat and a 4.7 cm reduction in waist circumference for a high-protein diet. Average weight loss of 3.3kg, 2.5kg reduction in body fat and 4.7cm reduction in waist size compared to a high carbohydrate diet.

The protein-rich diet reduced more body weight and body fat and lowered blood pressure more.

study 2

A study led by Leo Treyzon of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition in 100 obese men and women received a supplement of protein and carbohydrate powder as a meal and snack replacement per day for 12 weeks. The diet plan was to achieve an intake of 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrate versus 15% protein, 30% fat, and 55% carbohydrate.

Results after 12 weeks showed that the higher protein meal produced an average weight loss of 4.19kg, a 1.65kg reduction in body fat, a 2.78kg reduction in lean body mass and a 13.2mg reduction in cholesterol /dL scored. Compared to a lower-protein meal, an average weight reduction of 3.72 kg, body fat reduction of 0.64 kg, lean body mass reduction of 4.06 kg and cholesterol reduction of 7.03 mg/dL were achieved

The higher-protein diet resulted in similar weight loss as the lower-protein diet. But the higher protein diet produced a much greater loss of body fat and cholesterol reduction, and less lean body muscle loss.

From these 2 studies you can see that protein is the most important nutrient that can increase weight and body fat loss without losing lean muscle mass. Note that the protein should come from lean meat and plant-based, as there is still a need to control saturated fat intake.

Thanks to Su Lee Chong

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