(COPENHAGEN) -- Many diets can take the weight off -- but when it comes to keeping it off, not all regimens are created equal, according to new research. A diet consisting of high-protein foods and ones with a low glycemic index is best for maintaining weight loss, said a large European study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The South Beach diet is the commercial weight loss plan that most closely approximates the best diet in the study, according to study author Thomas Meinert Larsen from the University of Copenhagen. The Atkins diet is much higher in protein, severely limits carbs, and has a more liberal attitude towards the types of fats one may eat.
The study followed roughly 780 participants who had already lost weight on a calorie-restricting diet and were randomly assigned to one of five different weight management programs.
Participants who ate foods higher in protein and with a low glycemic index not only stuck to their maintenance diets better, but were also more likely to continue to lose weight over the course of the 26-week study. In contrast, those assigned to diets consisting of foods low in protein with a higher glycemic index were more likely to regain weight.
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