Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults

Daniela Jakubowicz*, Oren Froy, Julio Wainstein, Mona Boaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although dietary restriction often results in initial weight loss, the majority of obese dieters fail to maintain their reduced weight. Diet-induced weight loss results in compensatory increase of hunger, craving and decreased ghrelin suppression that encourage weight regain. A high protein and carbohydrate breakfast may overcome these compensatory changes and prevent obesity relapse. Methods: In this study 193 obese (BMI 32.2 ± 1.0 kg/m 2), sedentary non diabetic adult men and women (47 ± 7 years) were randomized to a low carbohydrate breakfast (LCb) or an isocaloric diet with high carbohydrate and protein breakfast (HCPb). Anthropometric measures were assessed every 4 weeks. Fasting glucose, insulin, ghrelin, lipids, craving scores and breakfast meal challenge assessing hunger, satiety, insulin and ghrelin responses, were performed at baseline, after a Diet Intervention Period (Week 16) and after a Follow-up Period (Week 32). Results: At Week 16, groups exhibited similar weight loss: 15.1 ± 1.9 kg in LCb group vs. 13.5 ± 2.3 kg in HCPb group, p = 0.11. From Week 16 to Week 32, LCb group regained 11.6 ± 2.6 kg, while the HCPb group lost additional 6.9 ± 1.7 kg. Ghrelin levels were reduced after breakfast by 45.2% and 29.5% following the HCPb and LCb, respectively. Satiety was significantly improved and hunger and craving scores significantly reduced in the HCPb group vs. the LCb group. Conclusion: A high carbohydrate and protein breakfast may prevent weight regain by reducing diet-induced compensatory changes in hunger, cravings and ghrelin suppression. To achieve long-term weight loss, meal timing and macronutrient composition must counteract these compensatory mechanisms which encourage weight regain after weight loss.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalSteroids
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Craving
  • Diet induced weight loss
  • Ghrelin suppression
  • Meal timing
  • Weight regain

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