Home Weight loss Yet another new study shows weight loss doubles on a higher protein...

Yet another new study shows weight loss doubles on a higher protein diet.


A recent Australian Study found increasing protein to about 30% calories on a calorie reduced diet, resulted in greater weight loss and better appetite control. Sigh. I noticed this effect 16 years ago when I started the Zone diet, and have been teaching it for 14 years or so. Yep it does work, amazing that studies are carried out and publicised 10 or more years after people start to get individual results and talk about them.

I imagine in another 10 years time nutrition science will back the paleo diet a lot more soundly and the media will have articles saying how successful it is for health and fat loss.

The Study was carried out through Th eUniverstiy of Sydney by Dr Helen O’Connor, a dietitian. The Dietitians Society of Australia has done a media release on this study. It almost seems as if the fact that a dietitian carried out a study on high protein diet, and it was found successful, gives it validation. (Or am I just being a little cynical?)

Here then is the Dietitians Society of Australia press release validating a high protein diet as a tool to curb obesity:

Dietitians Society of Australia: Protein and professional advice help curb obesity.

A new Australian study has found the winning combination of regular dietitian sessions and higher protein diets to be effective in helping young women manage their weight.
The University of Sydney study looked at the effect of diet, exercise and behaviour change in overweight and obese women aged 18-25. This is one of the first weight management studies worldwide focussing on young women.
Researcher Dr Helen O’Connor, an Accredited Practising Dietitian, said: ‘Young women are gaining weight at a faster rate than other Australians, and this can affect fertility and long-term health. But despite this, there’s been little research in this age group as to what works to shift that weight.’
Dr O’Connor and her colleagues tracked 71 overweight and obese women aged 18-25 years over 12 months.
‘We randomly placed the women on either a higher-protein or a higher-carbohydrate diet, making sure both diets provided a similar amount of kilojoules, saturated fat and fibre, and included lower glycaemic index foods,’ said Dr O’Connor.
She said all participants met with an Accredited Practising Dietitian at least monthly for dietary advice, and were prescribed an exercise program of 30 minutes daily walking.
‘After 12 months, significant drops in body weight were seen with both diets. Almost two-thirds lost more than five per cent of their starting weight, and 36 per cent lost more than 10 per cent of their baseline weight,’ said Dr O’Connor.
But according to Dr O’Connor, weight and fat loss on the higher-protein diet were close to double that of the higher-carbohydrate diet.
‘The women reported the higher-protein diet kept them fuller for longer and had a positive effect on self-esteem. They also had better iron levels, compared with the women on the higher-carbohydrate diet,’ said Dr O’Connor.
She said another key to the women’s success was getting sound nutrition advice and support from an Accredited Practising Dietitian.

The research comes as the nation’s dietitians launch Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (22-29 January). The idea for the 2012 campaign, an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia, is to motivate young Aussie women to kick-start healthy eating and exercise habits, one change at a time.
Some of the barriers Dr O’Connor found to losing weight in this age group include:
• Frequent dieting, including using quick-fix or fad diets
• Drinking too much alcohol and binge drinking
• Regularly eating out and eating take-away foods
• Being less active, often due to the time involved in working and studying.

Despite this, Dr O’Connor said her research proves young women can do well with weight loss.
‘Metabolic rate and ability to exercise tends to be higher in younger women, compared with middleaged and older women. So this is an ideal time to eat well and exercise to look and feel good and to set themselves up for a healthy life,’ said Dr O’Connor.
The latest statistics show one in five (21 per cent) 18-24 year old women are overweight and 15 per cent are obese.
Visit www.healthyweightweek.com.au for more information or to join the Australia’s Healthy Weight Week pledge campaign.

For further information or to organise an interview with Helen O’Connor, contact Maree Garside, Dietitians Association of Australia, on 0408 482 581.
Note to Editors: The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is the professional body representing dietitians nationally. Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia. For more information visit www.daa.asn.au
The Media Centre on the DAA website contains DAA’s Media Releases and positions on topical nutrition issues in the media.
About Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (22 to 29 January 2012):
• The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is hosting Australia’s Healthy Weight Week
from 22-29 January 2012. The idea for the 2012 campaign is simple: to motivate young
Aussie women to kick-start healthy eating and exercise habits, one change at a time. Rates of
weight gain in this group are higher than other Australians, and this is affecting fertility and
long-term health.
• AHWW encourages Australians to seek expert nutrition and weight loss advice from an
Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). APDs work with people to develop personalised
eating plans and support and motivate them to make diet changes for life.
• Visit www.healthyweightweek.com.au for more information and to join the AHWW pledge


And here is a short video from morning TV in Australia

high protein diets work wonders for weight loss


  1. Hi
    I do have different problem actually I need help. Let me write you a bit about it. I am 33 years old lean active woman and do not have period from march last year. I was vegan for ethical reason for 3 years then in January last year I have start to workout(4-5 times a week, nothing crazy) My period has stopped in March. I did not loose any weight I am eating to keep my calories up not to loose. I have done all blood test everything seems to be ok. When I was vegan I take everyday b12,k2,dha and vitamin D. I was so worried about my period(we want baby with my husband) that I have start to eat meat, switch to paleo in december to see that may be when I changed my diet my period come.What should I do What should I eat more? Should I stopped to completelly workout and gain some fat? I eat a lots of fat avocados daily nuts , coconut oil, fatty fish, I do not like the taste of fatty meat so I do not eat it but like I have written I eat a lots of another sources of fat. I do not know what else I can do……………

    • I’m sorry – I can’t really give any specific advice on what might help. I’d suggest working with a paleo health practitioner to sort it out.
      I do think it is a smart idea to go back on meat though, you are missing a lot of important nutrients as a vegan. YOu may need to give it a little more time, and as you suggest cut down – or do shorter workouts, and get your body fat up a little.

      • I do not have one in my area I am from Prague, my regular doctor advised me to eat more sweet pasta bread etc…… I have all test ok only my hormonal profile is not normal that is dues to lack of period. If I want to put more fat on me what is healthier way to do? what I should eat it? I eat already 2300-2500 cal. a day and I was even leaner before and have regular period. May be my body does not like workout at all:-(, but I love to workout at least 4 times a week

        • I’m not really able to help. Are you able to get your hormones tested throughout your cycle / month to see what it going on – and then talk to a specialist doctor / health practitioner?
          If you like to work out – maybe – just do very short workouts, and lots of long walks to lower the stress load.

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