Diets higher in protein improve energy, enhance weight loss, and decrease fat mass while simultaneously preserving lean muscle mass.
The benefits of diets high in protein are well-established and documented. Diets higher in protein improve energy, enhance weight loss, and decrease fat mass while simultaneously preserving lean muscle mass. Protein consumption also leads to increased satiety, which can promote weight loss and help limit weight gain.
In a recent study comparing high-protein total meal replacement versus a controlled diet of standard food items, participants in the meal replacement group experienced greater total energy expenditure, higher fat oxidation rates and negative fat balance. They also benefited from more sleep. This supports other research published over the last several years that have identified general and specific benefits of high-protein meal replacement programs. This includes: improved blood glucose levels and cardiovascular markers, reduced waist circumference and body fat mass, greater success at achieving pregnancy, and other positive outcomes. Greater initial weight loss also can act as a motivator, leading to greater compliance and long-term weight maintenance.
Certainly too much — or not enough — of any one nutrient can have negative consequences, and this extends to meal replacements. An Australian study comparing very low energy diet products found that several brands did not meet the nutritional adequacy of most patients beyond the most petite female participants. Physicians should recommend specific guidelines for what and how much should be consumed based on the individual’s weight, gender and activity level.
The type and quality of protein also matters. While a perfectly grilled steak might be a desired daily menu item, unfortunately it’s too much of a good thing. Nuts and beans, Greek yogurt, eggs, fish and chicken offer a variety of beneficial high-protein meal options. High quality meal placement products from a physician are scientifically designed to provide a balanced source of macro- and micronutrients and combine proteins with different absorption rates to maintain optimal protein synthesis.
High protein diets and meal replacements are a key, yet underutilized resource. When used in combination with behavior modification, high protein meal replacements offer safe, flavorsome, convenient, nutritional options for weight loss. As such, they play a necessary and critical role in reducing obesity and, ultimately, obesity-related diseases.
About the Author: Dr. Andrea Pampaloni has over 20 years of communication experience across corporate, academic, nonprofit and government sectors. She provides research and writing services on a range of business issues and industry-specific topics to prepare white papers, articles, proposals, presentations, technical content, and speaking points, as well as marketing-communications content such as blogs, website content, newsletters, news releases and award submissions. Dr. Pampaloni’s research findings have been presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals, and she is a ghostwriter for three books, a Forbes article, and several corporate blogs.