Want to maximize the benefit of eating and exercising for weight loss?

A new study suggests that you may be more successful at losing weight if you emphasize protein in your diet. Researchers from the University of Illinois report that although both high-carbohydrate and high-protein diets combined with exercise may lead to weight loss, the biggest "losers" appear to be those on a high-protein diet (Journal of Nutrition, 2005, vol. 135, no. 8). The study's exercise program was moderate, just five 30-minute walks and two 30-minute weightlifting sessions a week.

Some organizations, including the American Heart Association, question the long-term health effects of high-protein diets. However, according to the University of Illinois researchers, a high-protein diet combined with exercise may actually be heart-healthy because of the resulting weight loss and decrease in triglyceride levels.