Effects of Protein Load Prior to the Main Meal of the Day: A Pilot Trial.
Weight management programs often advise dieters to avoid skipping meals. The advice seems to be linked to an observation that obese women consume fewer calories in the morning compared to lean women, but consume more calories in the evening. It is not clear whether this implies a causal link between skipping meals and obesity.
Protein increases satiety and decreases subsequent energy intake more than the other macronutrients, which is the usual explanation for high protein/low carbohydrate diets leading to greater weight loss than high carbohydrate/low protein diets. Apart from effects on satiety, increased thermogenesis and enhanced glycaemic control could also be contributing to this effect.
Correlational studies that link weight gain and being overweight with skipping meals,21,22 have led to weight management programmes commonly suggesting that skipping meals undermines weight loss or generates weight gain, while regular spacing of food intake can help. This is probably incorrect. Our two studies suggest that reducing hunger prior to the evening meal does not generate any reduction in overall calorie intake, and that skipping of meals may in fact generate a modest weight loss.
In conclusion, our two studies together suggest that increased hunger prior to evening meal does not generate weight gain, and reduction of hunger prior to evening meal does not generate weight loss. The advice to dieters to space eating episodes regularly throughout the day may have a good health rationale, but it may not contribute to weight loss.
Obes Res Open J. 2015; 2(4): 111- 116. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-2-117