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High-Protein Total Diet Replacements May Help With Fat Loss

High-protein diets typically include large quantities of protein and only a small amount of carbohydrates. Total diet replacement (TDR) programs involve replacing all foods with specially formulated products such as soups, shakes and cereal bars that provide between 800–1200 calories per day. A recent study has found that a combined high-protein total diet replacement may help increase energy expenditure, increase fat oxidation, and promote a negative fat balance.

Forty-three healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 35 participated in the study. Half of them consumed a high-protein TDR diet which consisted of 35% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 25% fat. The other half consumed a typical North American diet that consisted of 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 30% fat.

Participants received the diets for a 32-hour period while inside a metabolic chamber. Participants switched interventions after a washout period. The researchers evaluated energy expenditure, fat oxidation rates, fat balance, and metabolic blood markers at baseline and at the end of each intervention.

Participants experienced increases in energy expenditure after eating the high-protein TDR diet, which means they burned more calories. They also had higher protein and fat oxidation (fat burning) rates, and a negative fat balance, meaning they burned more fat than they consumed. In addition, they saw a lower carbohydrate oxidation rate, which could help improve insulin sensitivity.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta.It was published online ahead of print on November 18, 2020 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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