Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Keeping weight off.

Getting weight off during a diet is easier than keeping the weight off afterwards. The Diogenes (diet, obesity and genes) project investigated the best way to keep it off. High protein and low glycemic index (GI) were the keys.

77o people in 8 European countries who had lost at least 8% of their body weight (an average of 11 kg) on an 800 kcal diet were randomly assigned to one of 5 maintenance diets for 26 weeks. Each of the five was eat as much as you want and got about 30% of total energy from fat.

The control diet had middling protein and did not worry about glycemic index. Of the others, two were high protein (25% of energy intake) and two were low protein (13%), with one in each group high GI and one low GI.

The higher the GI the bigger the spike in blood sugar levels after eating. Refined grain products (white rice, white pasta) tend to be high GI, while low GI foods include non-refined grains, fruit and non-starchy vegetables.

550 people completed the maintenance phase. The drop out rate in the low protein high GI group was markedly higher than average, with the other high GI group second worst.

Being in a high protein group was associated with further weight loss, and the chance of losing a further 5% of body weight was 90% higher with high protein.

The only group where weight regain (at an average of about 1.7 kg = 3.5 lbs) was statistically significant was the low protein high GI one.

High protein cut weight by an average of 1 kg compared to low protein. Low GI cut weight by about the same, compared to high GI, and since there was no difference in fibre, the effect is purely down to GI.

The research appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In summary, to keep the weight off, eat as much as you want on a mix of protein (25% of energy), fat (30%), carbs for the rest and choose low GI (non-refined, non-starchy).


November 25, 2010 - Posted by | Diet, Fruit, Glycemic index, Success, Vegetables, Weight management, Whole grain

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