A new study demonstrates that higher-protein meals improve perceived appetite and satiety in overweight and obese men during weight loss. According to the research, published in Obesity, higher-protein intake led to greater satiety throughout the day as well as reductions in both late-night and morning appetite compared to a normal protein diet.
"Research has shown that higher-protein diets, those containing 18 to 35 percent of daily calorie intake from dietary protein, are associated with reductions in hunger and increased fullness throughout the day and into the evening hours," said Heather Leidy, Ph.D., study author and professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. "In our study, the two groups ate either 25 or 14 percent of calories from protein, while the total calories and percent of calories from fat stayed the same between the higher-protein and normal-protein diet patterns. "
During the study, Dr. Leidy and associates also conducted an eating frequency substudy in which the 27 participants on both normal- and higher-protein diets consumed either three meals or six meals per day. The researchers found that eating frequency had no effect on appetite and satiety on the normal-protein diet. However, subjects on the higher-protein diet who ate three meals per day experienced greater evening and late-night fullness than those who ate six meals per day.