Dietary modifications for weight loss and weight loss maintenance

Metabolism. 2019 Mar;92:153-162. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2019.01.001. Epub 2019 Jan 6.


Worldwide obesity rates remain at a rise, and to treat obesity is at the top of the global public health agenda. In 2013, the AHA/ACC/TOS obesity management guidelines were published, in essence suggesting that any dietary scheme seems to be effective for weight loss, as long as it can induce a sustainable energy deficit. In the present review, we update and critically discuss available information regarding dietary modifications for weight loss and weight loss maintenance, published after the 2013 guidelines. Regarding weight loss, we found no proof to support that a single dietary scheme, be it nutrient-, food group- or dietary pattern- based, is more efficacious of the other for achieving weight loss. For weight loss maintenance, published interventions point towards the same direction, although inconclusively. Most research explores the effect of weight loss regimes on weight loss maintenance and not the effect of the diet during weight loss maintenance, and this literature gap should be more thoroughly investigated.

Keywords: Diet; Dietary patterns; Food groups; Macronutrients; Obesity management; Weight loss; Weight loss maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Weight Loss*