In an a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on the effectiveness of high protein diets versus low protein diets, researchers found that neither are as effective in fighting the bulge as one thing: portion control.
The study conducted at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge took 25 healthy people with normal weight and put them on a special diet of an extra 1000 calories every day. The group was split between a low protein-high fat diet and a high protein-low fat diet, but all consumed roughly 40 percent more than usual. It was observed that after eight weeks, everyone in the study gained weight.
But while the low protein group gained only half as much weight as the high protein group, they retained 90 percent of their extra calories in the form of fat and lost lean muscle, while the high protein group retained only 50 percent of the extra calories as fat and actually gained lean muscle mass. This difference in the amount of fat retained by the two groups can be attributed to the calorie burning power produced by the extra energy the body exerts to process protein.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. David Heber of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition concluded based on the study results that,
“reduced total caloric intake with increased intakes of low-fat, protein-rich foods may contribute to more successful weight loss in the long-term due to the effects on resting energy expenditure.”
According to Vitals, Dr. David Heber is a board certified endocrinologist who received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1972. Dr David Heber is also the recipient of Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors award, 2011.