Hunger, Food Cravings, and Diet Satisfaction are Related to Changes in Body Weight During a 6-Month Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention: The Beef WISE Study

Nutrients. 2018 May 31;10(6):700. doi: 10.3390/nu10060700.


Previously published findings from the Beef WISE Study (Beef's Role in Weight Improvement, Satisfaction, and Energy) indicated equivalent weight loss between two energy-restricted higher protein (HP) diets: A HP diet with ≥4 weekly servings of lean beef (B; n = 60) and a HP diet restricted in all red meats (NB; n = 60). Long-term adherence to dietary prescriptions is critical for weight management but may be adversely affected by changes in appetite, food cravings, and diet satisfaction that often accompany weight loss. A secondary a priori aim of the Beef WISE Study was to compare subjective ratings of appetite (hunger and fullness), food cravings, and diet satisfaction (compliance, satisfaction, and deprivation) between the diets and determine whether these factors influenced weight loss. Subjective appetite, food cravings, and diet satisfaction ratings were collected throughout the intervention, and body weight was measured at the baseline, after the weight loss intervention (week 16), and after an eight-week follow-up period (week 24). Hunger and cravings were reduced during weight loss compared to the baseline, while fullness was not different from the baseline. The reduction in cravings was greater for B vs. NB at week 16 only. Higher deprivation ratings during weight loss were reported in NB vs. B at weeks 16 and 24, but participants in both groups reported high levels of compliance and diet satisfaction with no difference between groups. Independent of group assignment, higher baseline hunger and cravings were associated with less weight loss, and greater diet compliance, diet satisfaction, and lower feelings of deprivation were associated with greater weight loss. Strategies to promote reduced feelings of hunger, cravings, and deprivation may increase adherence to dietary prescriptions and improve behavioral weight loss outcomes.

Keywords: appetite; cravings; diet satisfaction; dietary adherence; dietary protein; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cattle
  • Craving
  • Diet, High-Protein* / adverse effects
  • Diet, Reducing* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Preferences
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Portion Size
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Reduction Programs*