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

When it comes to weight loss diet, there are plenty out there. However, many researches have shown that a moderately high protein diet is more effective than conventional low-fat, high carbohydrate diet for reducing the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Study 1

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

The study covered 83 overweight women 18 – 65 years for 8 weeks. The women were put on a high protein diet (30{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} protein, 40{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} carbohydrate) or high fiber diet (50{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} carbohydrate, >35 g dietary fiber, 20{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} protein) with the aim to achieve 0.5 – 1 kg weight loss per week.

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

The high protein diet lost more body weight and body fat as well as greater lowering of blood pressure.

Study 2

A study led by Leo Treyzon of UCLA Center for Human Nutrition on 100 obese men and women were given a supplement of protein and carbohydrate powder drink as one meal replacement and one snack a day for 12 weeks. The diet plan was to achieve intake of 30{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} protein, 30{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} fat and 40{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} carbohydrate vs 15{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} protein, 30{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} fat and 55{c66b10e9cbb0dd4ae322bbe8793aef26e887819d9224ac46799d38bddff29d80} carbohydrate.

The results after 12 weeks showed the higher protein meal achieved an average weight loss of 4.19 kg, body fat reduction of 1.65 kg, lean body mass reduction of 2.78 kg, cholesterol reduction of 13.2 mg/dL. Compared to lower protein meal achieved 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

The higher protein diet resulted in similar weight loss as the lower protein diet. But the higher protein diet achieved much more loss of body fat and higher reduction of cholesterol as well as lower lost of lean body muscle.

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. Do note that the protein should be from lean meat and plant base as it is still necessary to control the saturated fat intake.

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