Diets come and go through the years, each of them generally suggesting a specific amount of macronutrients. These include low carb diets, low fat diets, high protein diets, and more. While each of these diets has been reported to support weight loss in the short term, most of us find it difficult to maintain our weight loss for longer than 1 year. Therefore, the overall success of many of these diets, particularly in comparison to each other, is often debated.
The Diogenes Study, a large, multi-centered, pan-European weight loss study, has attempted to determine which type of diet is best in regards to successfully maintaining weight loss. For this study, 773 adult men and women who successfully completed an 8-week weight loss phase were randomly assigned to one of five weight maintenance diets:
- Low protein (13%) + low glycemic index
- Low protein + high glycemic index
- High protein (25%) + low glycemic index
- High protein + high glycemic index
- Control diet that followed each country's dietary guidelines
Each diet was moderate in fat content (25-30%) and study volunteers were directed to eat as much as they wanted while aiming to maintain their current body weight during the 26-week weight maintenance phase. The results of this weight loss study, which were recently published online ahead of print in the New England Journal of Medicine
, showed that:
- The high protein, low glycemic index diet was easier to stick to than the low protein, high glycemic index diet.
- Consumption of the low protein, high glycemic index diet resulted in a significant increase in body weight by about 3 - 4 pounds on average. Weight re-gain was not observed on average in the other diet groups.
- Diet groups high in protein, regardless of glycemic index status, re-gained 2 lbs less than diet groups low in protein.
- Use of low glycemic index diet plans, regardless of protein level, resulted in about 2 lbs less weight re-gain than diets with a high glycemic index.
- The high protein groups ... Continue