Research: Higher protein enhances weight loss maintenance

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According to research: More protein is better to keep the weight off.


Many studies have looked for the best strategy for weight loss and maintenance. There are plenty of studies that show that higher protein can assist with weight loss, improved satiety, and reduced insulin resistance. It is quite clear that high in processed sugar and carbohydrates intake increases your risk of central obesity and metabolic syndrome. The question is whether weight regain can be prevented my maintaining a higher amount of protein as a part of your diet after the initial loss.

Weight regain after a successful weight loss intervention is common and hide problem because with each regain, it will become increasing difficult to lose weight in the future. Most studies show that the weight loss attained during a weight loss intervention period is not or is not fully maintained during follow-up and many dieters gain more weight than they lost.

A study from 2019 reviewed what is currently known about dietary strategies for weight loss maintenance, focusing on macronutrient composition​[1]​. The researchers performed a systematic review and analysis of studies that were performed to look at diet strategies to lose weight and keep it off. It is not exhaustive, but it is a good review of possible weight loss diets available.

The researchers looked at twenty-one studies with 2875 participants. The participants were overweight or obese. The studies investigated increased protein intake (12 studies), lower dietary glycemic index (four studies), green tea (three studies), conjugated linoleic acid (three studies), higher fibre intake (three studies), and other miscellaneous interventions (six studies).

The analysis shows a significant beneficial effect of higher protein intake on the prevention of weight regain. No significant effect, positive or negative, of the other strategies is detected. Diets that combine higher protein intake were clearly superior to the other interventions.

The bottom line: Higher protein works for both weight loss and maintenance. It is clearly superior for weight loss maintenance. It it works for you, I recommend it. More research is needed, but this results in encouraging and supports the use of higher protein for weight loss.


  1. [1]
    R. Hu, M. H. van Velthoven, and E. Meinert, “Perspectives of People Who Are Overweight and Obese on Using Wearable Technology for Weight Management: Systematic Review,” JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, p. e12651, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.2196/12651. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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