Study under review: Protein supplements after weight loss do not improve weight maintenance compared with recommended dietary protein intake despite beneficial effects on appetite sensation and energy expenditure: a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial
Popular media and scientific publications are rife with pessimism about dieting and successful weight loss maintenance. Although data is limited, only about 20% of people with overweight who successfully lose more than 10% of their initial bodyweight are able to maintain that loss after one year. Some of the habits of those who are successful are summarized in Figure 1. However, for most people, weight regain after weight loss is an all-too-common phenomenon.
For people who do successfully maintain weight loss, it is unlikely that there is a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there may be commonalities among successful approaches that are worth investigating. For example, protein appears to be more satiating than carbohydrate and fat, and may also benefit weight loss maintenance by promoting the retention of lean body mass and increasing energy expenditure.
Another factor that may come into play is the protein source. Animal protein has been suggested to provide a greater boost to energy expenditure than plant protein, which could affect weight maintenance success. Similarly, calcium supplementation has been reported to increase fat loss during weight loss, although the mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. However, no study has yet to compare the effects of supplementing with animal vs. plant protein with or without calcium on weight maintenance success. The study under review examined the effect on weight maintenance of supplementing with whey protein with or without extra calcium, compared to both soy protein and carbohydrate as a control.
Maintaining successful weight loss is hard, but it's not impossible. Studies point toward increased protein intake (especially animal protein) and calcium as potential contributors to successful weight maintenance, but no study has yet to compare all these things. The study under review evaluated the effects of protein supplementation from whey or soy, in combination with added calcium, on weight loss maintenance.
Other Articles in Issue #34 (August 2017)
Interview: Brandon Roberts, PhD
In this volume, exercise scientist, coach, and research consultant Brandon Roberts talks with us about common mistakes he sees in strength training, the state of exercise science, and more.
Interview: Phil Graham, BSc, PGDip, CISSN, MSc(c)
Phil Graham lives and thrives with type 1 diabetes. In this interview, we pick his brain about his body building experience, tips for professionals working with athletes with type 1 diabetes, and the interactions between insulin, dietary protein, and muscle protein synthesis.
Beef protein: anabolic underdog?
Whey protein supplementation is considered a top contender when in comes to improving resistance training outcomes. Can a protein supplement derived from beef compete?
Lean beef: take it or leave it for weight loss
High-protein diets are one way to shed some pounds. Is red meat any better or worse of a protein source for those looking to lose weight?
The effect of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength
A recent systematic review has questioned the long-standing belief that protein supplementation can help improve strength training outcomes. This metaanalysis quantitatively examines the latest evidence on the issue
Ginger, vitamin B6 , or neither for nausea during pregnancy?
Ginger and vitamin B6 are commonly thought to be helpful for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Few trials have looked at them head-to-head, though.
Can supplemental vitamin D improve sleep?
Vitamin D levels seem to be correlated with sleep quality. But correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation