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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.203. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men.

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Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, The University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of dietary protein and eating frequency on perceived appetite and satiety during weight loss. A total of 27 overweight/obese men (age 47 ± 3 years; BMI 31.5 ± 0.7 kg/m(2)) were randomized to groups that consumed an energy-restriction diet (i.e., 750 kcal/day below daily energy need) as either higher protein (HP, 25% of energy as protein, n = 14) or normal protein (NP, 14% of energy as protein, n = 13) for 12 weeks. Beginning on week 7, the participants consumed their respective diets as either 3 eating occasions/day (3-EO; every 5 h) or 6 eating occasions/day (6-EO; every 2 h), in randomized order, for 3 consecutive days. Indexes of appetite and satiety were assessed every waking hour on the third day of each pattern. Daily hunger, desire to eat, and preoccupation with thoughts of food were not different between groups. The HP group experienced greater fullness throughout the day vs. NP (511 ± 56 vs. 243 ± 54 mm · 15 h; P < 0.005). When compared to NP, the HP group experienced lower late-night desire to eat (13 ± 4 vs. 27 ± 4 mm, P < 0.01) and preoccupation with thoughts of food (8 ± 4 vs. 21 ± 4 mm; P < 0.01). Within groups, the 3 vs. 6-EO patterns did not influence daily hunger, fullness, desire to eat, or preoccupation with thoughts of food. The 3-EO pattern led to greater evening and late-night fullness vs. 6-EO but only within the HP group (P < 0.005). Collectively, these data support the consumption of HP intake, but not greater eating frequency, for improved appetite control and satiety in overweight/obese men during energy restriction-induced weight loss.

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