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How to Eat Plenty and Lose Weight found in Largest Diet Study

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Danish Researchers have discovered how to eat plenty and still lose weight. In the world’s largest diet study, scientists say just eat until you’re full, but focus on more protein from lean meat and beans, avoid refined carbohydrates and consume low-fat dairy products.

The findings that the diet will lead to weight loss are significant for fighting the obesity epidemic. Researchers looked at the effect of five types of diets find how which diet is best for weight control, concluding that current dietary recommendations won’t prevent obesity.

More Protein, Low Carbohydrate Best for Weight Loss and Maintenance

The five diets used as part of the Diogenes study included low protein and high glycemic index GI, low protein, low GI, high protein, low GI and high protein high GI. For the control, current dietary guidelines in Europe were used without regard to glycemic index.

The low protein diet comprised 13 percent of energy and 25 percent for the high protein group. High GI food index for the study was 70 or more. The glycemic index uses a scale of 0 to 100 and represents how quickly glucose enters the bloodstream. Below 55 on the glycemic index scale is considered low.

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Overweight adults were enrolled in an initial weight loss phase of the study that restricted calories to 800 per day for 8 weeks who lost an average of 22 pounds. After the initial weight loss, they were randomly assigned one of the five diets to follow for six months. The study included 772 European families -938 adults and 827 children.

At the study end, fewer participants in the high protein, low glycemic index group dropped out compared to low protein, high glycemic index. Average weight regain in all of the groups was 1.1 pounds. The low protein, high GI group fared the worst and gained an average of 3.4 pounds.

The children in the study also lost weight even though they were not calorie restricted before the start of the study. The percentage of overweight kids dropped from almost 50 percent to 39 percent.

The reason for the diet’s success is in the carbohydrate reduction and added protein that curbs appetite and allows people to feel fuller, longer.

Adding a little more lean protein to the diet, replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains and brown rice and pastas and avoiding sugary white flour desserts can make a difference for keeping weight off, staying slim and feeling satisfied, shown in the study. The researchers also recommend water or low fat milk with meals.

Source: NEJM