Background: Weight loss benefits of multi-ingredient supplements in conjunction with a low-calorie, high-protein diet in young women are unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a three-week low-calorie diet with and without supplementation on body composition.
Methods: Thirty-seven recreationally-trained women (n = 37; age = 27.1 ± 4.2; height = 165.1 ± 6.4; weight = 68.5 ± 10.1; BMI = 25.1 ± 3.4) completed one of the following three-week interventions: no change in diet (CON); a high-protein, low-calorie diet supplemented with a thermogenic, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a protein gel, and a multi-vitamin (SUP); or the high-protein diet with isocaloric placebo supplements (PLA). Before and after the three-week intervention, body weight, %Fat via dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), segmental fat mass via DXA, %Fat via skinfolds, and skinfold thicknesses at seven sites were measured.
Results: SUP and PLA significantly decreased body weight (SUP: PRE, 70.47 ± 8.01 kg to POST, 67.51 ± 8.10 kg; PLA: PRE, 67.88 ± 12.28 kg vs. POST, 66.38 ± 11.94 kg; p ≤ 0.05) with a greater (p ≤ 0.05) decrease in SUP than PLA or CON. SUP and PLA significantly decreased %Fat according to DXA (SUP: PRE, 34.98 ± 7.05% to POST, 32.99 ± 6.89%; PLA: PRE, 34.22 ± 6.36% vs. POST, 32.69 ± 5.84%; p ≤ 0.05), whereas only SUP significantly decreased %Fat according to skinfolds (SUP: PRE, 27.40 ± 4.09% to POST, 24.08 ± 4.31%; p ≤ 0.05). SUP significantly (p ≤ 0.05) decreased thicknesses at five skinfolds (chest, waist, hip, subscapular, and tricep) compared to PLA, but not at two skinfolds (axilla and thigh).
Conclusions: The addition of a thermogenic, CLA, protein, and a multi-vitamin to a three-week low-calorie diet improved weight loss, total fat loss and subcutaneous fat loss, compared to diet alone.