Macronutrient Content of the Diet: What Do We Know About Energy Balance and Weight Maintenance?

Curr Obes Rep. 2016 Jun;5(2):208-13. doi: 10.1007/s13679-016-0209-8.


The 2013 AHA/ACC Clinical Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity recommends a reduced energy diet for weight loss regardless of the macronutrient content. However, diet composition may affect the maintenance of weight loss. In general, a healthful dietary pattern with reduced portion sizes, low energy dense foods, and physical activity are successful for many. Certain populations, such as those with insulin resistance, may find reductions in carbohydrate and higher levels of unsaturated fats to be more effective and promote greater adherence. Of importance is that metabolic adaptations following weight loss also may impact weight loss maintenance and should be considered in the transition from weight loss to weight stabilization. Thus, weight loss and weight maintenance strategies are both important in an intervention for sustaining long-term behavior change.

Keywords: Dieting; Insulin sensitivity; Leptin; Macronutrient composition; Obesity; Overweight; Weight loss maintenance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weight Maintenance / physiology*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Nutritive Value
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Patient Compliance
  • United States
  • Weight Loss*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins