Individuals who managed to lose weight on a low calorie diet were more likely to keep the weight off if their diets were relatively high in protein and low in glycemic index in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Here is some information about the glycemic index:
It is an indicator of how much a given food creates fluctuations in the body’s sugar and insulin levels when it is eaten
• In general, foods with a glycemic index over 55 are considered high and those with a value under 55 are considered low
• Most raw fruits and vegetables have a relatively low glycemic index while processed foods usually have a high glycemic index
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen randomly assigned nearly 800 adults who had recently lost at least 8% of their body weight through a very low calorie diet to one of five maintenance diets. These diets were low protein and low glycemic index, low protein and high glycemic index, high protein and low glycemic index, high protein and high glycemic index, and a comparison diet.
Overall, 71% of the participants managed to stay on their assigned diets for the 26-week study period. Among these individuals, only those on a low protein and high glycemic index diet experienced significant weight regain, an average of nearly 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs). Weight regain was lowest among those on a high protein vs. low protein diet as well as for those on a low glycemic index vs. a high glycemic index diet.
Today’s research suggests that diets relatively high in protein but with a low glycemic index are most likely to support the prevention of weight gain following weight loss due to dieting.
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