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Research Highlights

High Protein, Low Carb Diet Helps Reduce Weight

  • February 26, 2009
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Decreasing calories while increasing protein intake can help people lose weight, suggests a study of 75 obese patients with metabolic syndrome by Cho Be-long of SNU Hospital's Department of Family Medicine.

In the experiment, one group was given protein, carbohydrate, and fat in the proportion of 15:65:20 while the other group was given 30:50:20. After three months, the second group with the greater proportion of protein had lost twice as much weight as the first.

Obese people, who should focus on decreasing the proportion of fat rather than weight loss, in the second group saw 1.9 times more fat reduction than the first. The group with more protein also reduced 1.5 times more abdominal fat than the other group.

There are reasons why protein is more effective in losing weight than carbohydrate or fat. More protein (4 kcal/g) is spent in the form of energy per calorie than carbohydrate (4 kcal/g) and fat (9 kcal/g) but the body stores less protein. In addition, protein reduces hunger because it sends a signal to stop eating to the brain faster than other nutrients.

Professor Cho said,"Although this study was conducted among metabolic syndrome patients, ordinary people can also maintain or reduce weight with more protein and less carbohydrate and fat."

Feb. 26, 2009
SNU PR Office

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