|Scientists ask: High protein for weight loss only or also during maintenance phases?|
Therefore, Martens et al. conducted a study that investigated the effects of high vs. low protein diets during weeks of body weight stability [unfortunately, no RDA group (0.8kg/day) ;(].
In that, the researchers objective was to determine fullness, energy expenditure, and macronutrient balances on a high-protein low-carbohydrate (HPLC) diet compared with a high-carbohydrate low-protein (HCLP) diet at a constant body weight, and to assess whether effects are transient or sustained after 12 weeks.
|Figure 1: Comparison of the relative contribution of protein, carbohydrates and fat to the total energy intake (Martens. 2014).|
The changes in body composition did not reach statistical significance, but the way the protein balance went from 4.1 ± 18.8 g/day to −16.4 ± 11.1 g/day within just one week and stagnated at −11.9 ± 14.1 g/day on the low protein diet clearly suggests that eating a diet that contains only 0.38g/kg body weight protein won't be able to sustain the amount of lean mass you need to function properly.Compared to the low protein diet, where only 5% of the daily energy requirements were covered with high protein foods and thus only 0.38g protein per kg body weight, that's yet still plenty of protein and enough to have significant effects on the
- total energy expenditure (TEE) (P = 0.013),
- sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) (P = 0.040), and
- diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) (P = 0.027)
|Figure 2: Metabolic effects of high vs. low protein diets (baseline vs. 12-week in % | Martens. 2014)|
- Martens, E. A., et al. "Maintenance of energy expenditure on high-protein vs. high-carbohydrate diets at a constant body weight may prevent a positive energy balance." Clinical Nutrition (2014).