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  • Protein shakes reduce weight regain

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    Thursday, August 05, 2010 9:01 am Email this article
    Consuming three protein shakes per day, an additional 48 grams of protein, cuts weight regain in half according to a study from The Netherlands.

    The weight regain was all muscle and no fat in the protein-supplemented group, which was not the case in the control group.

    One hundred forty-eight men and women lost an average of 14.3 pounds in a month on a very-low-calorie diet. This was 7.5 percent of their body weight.

    Half were then given an additional 48 grams of protein per day to see what effect this would have on weight regain. This increase protein intake from 15 pecent of calories to 18 percent.

    The extra protein was taken as one sachet of a meal replacer called Modifast coantaining 17 grams of protein, plus one sachet of a calcium caseinate protein powder containing 15.6 grams of protein, mixed with water, and taken as part of lunch.

    Another protein drink, containing 15.6 grams of calcium caseinate protein mixed with water, was consumed in the afternoon.

    Calcium caseinate is a form of casein found in cow’s milk.

    Three months later the group given the extra protein had gained back 2.2 pounds, whereas the other group had gained back 4.4 pounds.

    The 2.2 pounds of weight regain in the protein-supplemented group was all muscle and no fat, whereas the weight gain in the control group was 1.8 pounds of muscle plus 2.6 pounds of fat.

    There was no significantly difference between the group in the number of calories eaten, resting metabolism or total calories burned.

    The researchers speculated that the extra protein probably increased diet-induced thermogenesis, that is metabolism following a meal, although they were not able to detect it when measuring total calories burned.

    The group given the extra protein did report higher levels of satiety than the non-supplemented group.


    Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune M, Nijs I, Van Ooijen M, Kovacs E. High protein intake sustains weight maintenance after body weight loss in humans. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Jan, 28(1):57-64.

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