Comparison of the effects of 52 weeks weight loss with either a high-protein or high-carbohydrate diet on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese males

T. P. Wycherley, G. D. Brinkworth, P. M. Clifton, M. Noakes

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31 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: A high-protein (HP), low-fat weight-loss diet may be advantageous for improving cardiometabolic health outcomes and body composition. To date, only limited research has been conducted in male participants. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the medium to long-term effects of two, low-fat, hypocaloric diets differing in carbohydrate:protein ratio on body composition and cardiometabolic health outcomes in overweight and obese males. DESIGN: One hundred and twenty males (age 50.8±9.3 (s.d.) years, body mass index 33.0±3.9 kgm-2) were randomly assigned and consumed a low-fat, isocaloric, energy-restricted diet (7 MJ per day) with either HP (protein:carbohydrate:fat %energy, 35:40:25) or high carbohydrate (HC; 17:58:25). Body weight, body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed at baseline and after 12 and 52 weeks. RESULTS: Sixty-eight participants completed the study (HP, =33; HC, =35). At 1 year both the groups experienced similar reductions in body weight (HP, -12.3±8.0 kg (-12%); HC, -10.9±8.6 kg (-11%); P=0.83 time-group interaction) and fat mass (-9.9±6.0 kg (-27%) vs -7.3±5.8 kg (-22%); P=0.11). Participants who consumed the HP diet lost less fat-free mass (-2.6±3.7 kg (-4%) vs -3.8±4.7 kg (-6%); P<0.01). Both groups experienced similar increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (8%) and reductions in total cholesterol (-7%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-9%), triglycerides (-24%), glucose (-3%), insulin (-38%), blood pressure (-7/-12%) and C-reactive protein (-29%), (P≥0.14). CONCLUSION: In overweight and obese men, both a HP and HC diet reduced body weight and improved cardiometabolic risk factors. Consumption of a HP diet was more effective for improving body composition compared with an HC diet.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere40
JournalNutrition and Diabetes
Issue numberAUGUST
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Caloric restriction
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Macronutrient composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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