Pilot study shows simple dietary changes can lead to modest weight loss

April 27, 2018 by Sandra Gray, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Attention to simple dietary changes can lead to weight loss without counting calories, according to a new study from obesity and nutrition researchers at UMass Medical School. In the study, researchers examined feasibility and acceptability among obese adults of a nonrestrictive diet focused on increasing dietary fiber and lean protein for weight loss. Published online by the journal Nutrition on April 25, the study found that increasing lean protein and fiber intake was well-tolerated by patients, improved their overall nutritional profiles and even led to modest weight loss without paying attention to limiting how much food they ate.

"We are encouraged that did occur without the need for caloric awareness," said senior author Yunsheng Ma, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine. "In addition, dietary quality score as measured by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index increased. Higher scores are associated with decreased risk of , stroke and death from all causes."

Fifteen enrolled in the 12-week study, which included six bi-weekly individual dietary counseling sessions to attain a daily goal of higher fiber (35 grams per day) and lean protein (0.8 grams per kilogram of an individual's ideal body per day). Dietary intake was assessed using three randomly selected 24-hour dietary recalls. Feasibility was determined by study retention, attendance at the counseling sessions and adherence to the .

Ninety-three percent of the participants approved of the diet, and 92 percent reported that they didn't feel hungry at all. One participant dropped from the study before the 12-week assessment visit. At the same time that participants increased their total protein, the emphasis on lean protein led to a decreased saturated fat intake.

"Simpler nonrestrictive approaches to diet may be conducive to stronger adherence," said study co-author Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine and director of the UMMS Center for Applied Nutrition. "We chose increased and lean protein because they exert cardiovascular health benefits in addition to weight loss. While many diets can result in short term weight loss, a sustainable, high quality diet will contribute to long-term health benefits."

Ma and Olendzki look forward to expanding the pilot study and exploring ways to keep patients motivated to stay on the diet beyond 12 months, hoping to see more weight loss over the extended time frame and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Explore further: Consuming protein supplements with meals may work better for weight control

More information: Lijuan Zhang et al. A nonrestrictive, weight loss diet focused on fiber and lean protein increase, Nutrition (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2018.02.006

Related Stories

Consuming protein supplements with meals may work better for weight control

April 25, 2018
A new systematic review of available evidence appearing in Nutrition Reviews indicates that consuming protein supplements with meals may be more effective at promoting weight control than consuming supplements between meals ...

Losing weight with a high-protein diet can help adults sleep better

March 24, 2016
Overweight and obese adults who are losing weight with a high-protein diet are more likely to sleep better, according to new research from Purdue University.

Efforts to track food intake on smartphone app impacted by day of week but not season of year

January 8, 2018
Dietary self-monitoring is a key component of successful behavioral weight loss interventions and is essential for facilitating other behavior change techniques (eg, setting goals, providing behavioral feedback). Few studies, ...

Paleolithic diet healthier for overweight women

January 19, 2018
Overweight women after menopause who eat the Paleo Diet can maintain weight loss in the long term. The levels of risk factors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also decrease. This according to a study at Umeå ...

National survey highlights perceived importance of dietary protein to prevent weight gain

April 26, 2013
Atkins Diet, Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, etc., etc., etc. Chances are you have known someone who has tried a high protein diet. In fact, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation, 50% of consumers ...

High-protein diet curbs metabolic benefits of weight loss

October 11, 2016
Dieters sometimes consume extra protein to stave off hunger and prevent loss of muscle tissue that often comes with weight loss.

Recommended for you

Teens get more sleep with later school start time, researchers find

December 12, 2018
When Seattle Public Schools announced that it would reorganize school start times across the district for the fall of 2016, the massive undertaking took more than a year to deploy. Elementary schools started earlier, while ...

Large restaurant portions a global problem, study finds

December 12, 2018
A new multi-country study finds that large, high-calorie portion sizes in fast food and full service restaurants is not a problem unique to the United States. An international team of researchers found that 94 percent of ...

Receiving genetic information can change risk

December 11, 2018
Millions of people in the United States alone have submitted their DNA for analysis and received information that not only predicts their risk for disease but, it turns out, in some cases might also have influenced that risk, ...

Yes please to yoghurt and cheese: The new improved Mediterranean diet

December 11, 2018
Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease ...

Effect of oral alfacalcidol on clinical outcomes in patients without secondary hyperparathyroidism

December 11, 2018
Treatment with active vitamin D did not decrease cardiovascular events in kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis, according to a research group in Japan. They have reported their research results in the December 11 issue ...

Licence to Swill: James Bond's drinking over six decades

December 10, 2018
He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia's Christmas ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.