Researchers discovered the ideal food consumption promoting weight maintenance involves eating lean meats, low-fat dairy, and beans. Also, consuming less foods with a high glycemic index (GI), usually simple carbohydrates, like white bread or refined starches. Following this diet plan allows individuals to eat until satisfied, without gaining additional weight.
The study found adults who lost a significant amount of their body weight (at least 8 percent) were able to maintain and continue weight loss based on desired goal when following this diet.
Research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM.
Foods with a high glycemic index are digested quickly and essentially spikes blood sugar levels upon consumption. Foods with a lower GI are digested slowly, allowing blood glucose to enter the bloodstream more regularly.
For this study, 938 overweight adults from 772 families completed a weight loss program for eight weeks. Calorie intake was limited to 800 kcals/day and the average weight loss was 24 lbs.
After the eight week weight loss period, adults were randomly assigned a new maintenance diet for the following six months.
Data showed the worst diet for maintaining weight loss to be a low-protein and high glycemic index diet. The best diet for maintaining weight loss was high protein and low glycemic index.
This study shows increasing protein while reducing consumption of foods with a high glycemic index will typically result in successful weight loss and weight maintenance following significant weight loss.