High protein diet promotes body weight loss among Brazilian postpartum women

Maria Beatriz Trindade de Castro, Diana Barbosa Cunha, Marina Campos Araujo, Ilana Nogueira Bezerra, Amanda Rodrigues Amorim Adegboye, Gilberto Kac, Rosely Sichieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


There is evidence in the general population that adhering to a high protein and low carbohydrate diet may help in losing weight. However, there is little evidence among postpartum women. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of a high protein diet on weight loss among postpartum women. A parallel-randomized controlled trial with 94 postpartum women was conducted in a maternity ward in Mesquita county (recruitment from February 2009 to December 2010) and in a polyclinic in Rio de Janeiro city (recruitment from December 2010 to December 2011). Women were randomized to the intervention group (IG) or control group (CG), and both groups received an isocaloric diet (1,800 kcal). Additionally, the IG received approximately 25 g of protein obtained from 125 g per week of sardine to increase daily dietary protein content and was advised to restrict carbohydrate intake. The CG received nutritional counselling to follow the national nutrition guidelines (15% protein, 60% carbohydrates, and 25% lipids). A linear mixed-effects model was used to test the effect of high protein intake and macronutrient intake on weight loss during the postpartum period. Body weight decreased in the IG compared with the CG (ß = −0.325; p = 0.049) among overweight and obese postpartum women. The percentage of energy intake from lipid (ß = −0.023; p = 0.050) was negatively associated with body weight, and carbohydrate intake (ß = 0.020; p = 0.026) was positively associated with body weight over time among all women. Protein intake and lower carbohydrate intake may be used as a dietary strategy to improve body weight loss during the postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12746
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Free access


  • low-income countries
  • macronutrients
  • maternal obesity
  • maternal postpartum weight loss
  • protein intake
  • randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'High protein diet promotes body weight loss among Brazilian postpartum women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this