Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself: High Protein, High Fiber May Well be the Key

In a study published in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition of Morenga et al. (Morenga. 2010) report the beneficial outcome of an ad-libitum (i.e. not energy-restricted) high protein (up to 30% of energy), high fiber (>35g per day; HPHF) diet on weight and body composition in overweight women:
Participants on the HPHF [high protein, high fiber] diet lost more body weight (1.3kg; 95% CI, 0.7, 1.9; P<0.0001), total fat (1.0kg; 95% CI, 0.2, 1.8; P<0.0001) and truncal fat (0.7kg; 95% CI, 0.1, 1.3; P=0.034) than participants on the standard diet. Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were also significantly lower after the HPHF diet.
What distinguishes these results from previous investigations showing beneficial effects (cf. table 1) of a high protein diet is the lack of an energy restriction.
Table 1: Baseline, week 4 and week 10 measures for body composition variables for the standard diet and HPHF groups
So, here we have another argument for making lean meat (or protein supplements) and vegetables staples of your everyday diet regimen - weight loss and improved blood lipids will follow.

If you are an athlete you may also be interested in the results of Woodall et al. (Woodall. 2010) who confirmed (yet another time) that supplementing additional protein (whey or casein) "might have a significant impact on muscular strength adaptations and body composition that occur with controlled resistance training."