Eating Loads of Protein Won't Make You Fat

Contrary to popular belief, high protein levels won’t necessarily lead to weight gain. Studies have shown that when done in moderation, consuming high-quality proteins can help regulate blood sugar and maintain lean muscle mass.

My gut feeling is that their measurement system or method was in error. Correct me if I am wrong, but 3 kgs of lean tissue in 6 weeks was the result of the high protein diet?

I am not saying that the researchers were trying to mislead or had an agenda, but it’s too good to be true. This would need to be replicated by a different group for me to think it is reasonable to believe.

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Definitely it is. Not possible to gain more than a pound of muscle a week for 6 straight weeks.

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I believe you misread this paper. This is a 2015 paper that is looking at energy expenditure. I have read through it, and don’t see your conclusion discussed at all. Am I missing something or am I looking at the wrong paper?

I had to read the paper to put it together too. The authors’ parameters and conclusion is as you say, and still of no statistical significance. I remain a little skeptical they should have written such a declarative conclusion based on their measurements, but oh well - I understand you don’t get published by saying “we looked at some stuff, and saw some individual variance.”

I think (not to put words in his mouth, so please correct me if I’m misrepresenting here) @TC_Luoma reported the numeric trends in the actual data between the two groups, instead of the conclusion. For the purposes of this article, that seems appropriate; almost, though not exactly, norming the numbers between the papers to create his own mini-meta analysis.

For my own $0.02, the Bray paper is certainly the weaker of those referenced here. That doesn’t discount that protein has a different effect on metabolism or body composition than the other macronutrients, I think we’ve seen enough evidence to say it almost certainly does, I just don’t think we can say anything between groups with overlapping confidence intervals. That’s not a malicious criticism of the research, I recognize how difficulty studies like this are to perform, that’s just how it shook out this time.

Thanks for the thorough response, @TrainForPain. I certainly agree that, as you say, protein affects metabolism and body composition differently than other macronutrients.

To me, the takeaway from the paper (and quite interesting) is that increased body mass due to fat does not lead to an increased energy expenditure, unlike increased muscular skeleton. I still don’t quite see where it can be deduced the participants in the high protein sub-group gained 3 kg of muscle in the study. Perhaps I just need to give it a closer read.

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Man… today is one of those days where I wish this study was a good as it says.

I’ve already gottne way over calories but really want some chocolate milk and a protein shake would really scratch the itch

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Try that one


There are stories of trappers only having rabbit stew to eat, made from rabbits that had very little bodyfat, and dying of a kind of malnutrition because it’s so resource intensive to break down that lean meat into energy.

Isn’t it more likely they died from major nutritional deficiencies? Protein with no fat and a lack of a myriad of micronutrients would cause problems beyond the high thermogenesis of lean meat.

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the body cannot synthesise certain fatty acids needed for survival so eating too low fat will result in major issues regardless of caloric consumptions

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Oh man, a callback!

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goldfish crackers are fucking good

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Real goldfish have more protein

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Not sure what its like over there but in the uk having to prove you have a sufficient tank and taking in multiple water samples to the pet shop before you can purchase them just doesnt make them a viable protein source.

You have to do all that for a goldfish? They’re disposable pets here. When one dies, I’m often able to replace it before my daughter even notices.

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Suspicious :thinking: :joy:


You don’t have to tell me. When I first got serious about being continually fit (circa 2005), the first thing I cut out was my nightly bowl of Goldfish crackers. I remember a neighbor telling my wife, a couple months later. “Looks like your husband’s lost like 20 lbs. How has he done it?” And literally the only answer was “No more Goldfish crackers”.

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That’s how I read it. These are people who probably weren’t meeting even their RDA for protein before the study.

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