Research: Protein-Rich may assist Weight Loss Maintenance


A higher protein diet may be just what you need to maintain weight loss.

Obesity - Causes and Effects
Obesity – Causes and Effects

High-protein diets have long been the craze around the world. Many book have highlighted them for both weight loss in the management of obesity. These diets have been around for many years and have been rigorously tested for their ability to induce weight loss but there is limited research to back up the use for maintenance.

The good news is that evidence is growing to support high protein diets for weight loss maintenance. One such study was released in June of 2020​[1]​. The researchers looked at several small and a few large randomized trials have evaluated the efficacy of high-protein diets with at least 20–35% of calories from protein. The studies compared this higher protein approach to normal-protein diets with 10–20% of calories from protein. The maintenance looked at maintenance after clinically significant weight loss.

Most of these studies indicate that weight regain in the short term, after 3–12 months, is lower by 1–2 kg or 2-4 pounds with high-protein diets than low-protein diets. This loss would be clinically significant. This effect was found to be lessened or attenuated with longer periods of observation. The reduction is likely due to decreasing dietary compliance.

The bottom line: High protein appears to be beneficial for weight loss maintenance. The studies that assess the efficacy of protein-rich diets to improve weight loss maintenance report beneficial effects in the short term, which nevertheless dissipate over time. More studies might be helpful if they could look at subjects that might be better able to maintain a high protein diet.

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  1. [1]
    F. Magkos, “Protein-Rich Diets for Weight Loss Maintenance,” Curr Obes Rep, Jun. 2020, doi: 10.1007/s13679-020-00391-0. [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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