When it comes to losing weight and curbing appetite, one diet smokes the competition. That’s a diet high in protein and low in carbs.

Researchers at the Rowett Research Institute in Britain gave 17 healthy but obese men one of two diets for four weeks. Both diets were considered “high-protein” (with 30 percent of the calories coming from protein). But the amount of carbohydrate and fat varied. In the “low-carbohydrate” diet, only four percent of calories came from carbs, with the rest from fat. In the “moderate-carbohydrate” diet, 35 percent of calories came from carbs, with the rest from fat.

Bodyweight was measured daily, and the subjects were asked about their hunger and appetite. They were allowed to eat all they wanted, provided the proportions of carbs/ fat/ protein were consistent and according to the design of the study.

The conclusion was clear. The lower-carb diet produced less spontaneous eating, more weight loss, and significantly lower levels of hunger. “Our volunteers found both diets to be equally palatable,” said Dr. Alex Johnstone, the weight-loss expert who led the study, “but they felt less hungry on the high-protein low-carbohydrate diet.”

The best sources of protein are grass-fed meats, free-range chicken and eggs, and wild salmon. Any fresh fish will do. (Sardines are especially good.) If you buy processed meats from the deli, look for those without nitrates. And go for the real yogurt with live cultures, not the stuff with fruit on the bottom.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Jonny Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. He’s the author of the new book The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth. For more information, go to www.jonnybowden.com.]