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The Top 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of a High-Protein Diet

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The Top 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of a High-Protein Diet

The science of eating is complex and evolving, but this much is now clear: a high-protein diet is the way to go. Here’s why.

 

Every few months some new fancy, faddish diet pops up on TV shows, magazines, and book bestseller lists that claims to be everything your hungry little heart can desire.

You know the pitch: easy weight loss, sky-high energy levels, perfect health, superhuman longevity, and on and on. Depending on whom you listen to, it all can get quite confusing.

Some “fad diets” get more right than wrong and will be around for a while (Paleo and Mediterranean dieting, for example), while others just can’t live up to the hype (the current low-carb craze), and others still are more harmful than helpful and, hopefully, will fade away into obscurity (the HCG diet and other forms of starvation dieting come to mind).

Well, in this article I want to look past the headlines and “get back to basics” by looking at the most important component of any diet: protein intake.

Get this right, and you can reap incredible rewards in both overall health and body composition. Get it wrong and you’ll struggle to get the body you desire no matter what you do in the gym.

Let’s find out why…

What is protein and why is it so important?

Proteins are the primary building blocks of the body. They’re used to build tissues like muscle, tendon, organ, and skin, as well as many other molecules vital to life such as hormones, enzymes, and various brain chemicals.

Proteins are comprised of smaller molecules known as amino acids, which are linked together in a long chain that can be molded into different shapes.

Our body can produce twelve of the amino acids needed to form protein molecules, but it must get nine others from protein in the food we eat. The former are known as nonessential amino acids and the latter essential amino acids.

How much protein you eat every day is the primary factor that determines whether your body is getting enough essential amino acids or not, but the quality of the protein you eat also matters.

Animal-based proteins like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are particularly popular among athletes because they contain high but balanced amounts of essential amino acids, but certain plant-based proteins like rice and pea protein are high-quality as well.

Generally speaking, your protein needs are going to be best met by animal sources, but with a bit of creative meal planning, vegetarians and vegans can get enough amino-acid-rich protein to build plenty of muscle and strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You build more muscle and get stronger on a high-protein diet.

Muscle tissue is primarily composed of protein, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a high-protein diet helps you build it faster. And with more muscle comes more strength.

You see, when you train your muscles, you’re simultaneously damaging and breaking down muscle tissue and beginning a process known as “protein synthesis” whereby the body creates (synthesizes) new muscle proteins to replace and add to the damaged tissues.

This is why exercise, and resistance training in particular, increases the protein needs of the body, and why a high-protein diet helps you build more muscle and strength.

You lose more fat and less muscle on a high-protein diet.

When you want to get leaner, the goal isn’t just “weight loss”– it’s fat loss.

That is, the goal is to lose fat and not muscle, and research clearly shows that a high-protein diet is better for both losing fat faster and preserving muscleYou simply lose more fat and less muscle on a high-protein diet than a low-protein one.

Furthermore, research shows that a high-protein diet is easier to stick to when in a calorie deficit because it results in less mood disturbance, stress, fatigue, and diet dissatisfaction than lower-protein diets, and improved dietary compliance means better fat loss results in the end.

You feel fuller on a high-protein diet.

One of the biggest dietary obstacles people run into is plain old hunger, and especially when restricting calories for fat loss.

It can be incredibly hard to regulate food intake when your stomach feels like a grumbling Sarlacc Pit all day, and a high-protein diet can help.

Specifically, research shows that increasing protein intake decreases appetite through several mechanisms including favorably altering hormones related to hunger and fullness.

This satiating effect not only applies to a high-protein diet in general but to individual meals as well: research shows that high-protein meals are more satiating than high-fat meals, which means you feel fuller longer, making you less likely to overeat.

You preserve more muscle as you age on a high-protein diet.

The degenerative loss of muscle associated with aging (known as sarcopenia) is debilitative and, ultimately, life threatening. Research shows that the more muscle you lose as you age, the more likely you are to die of various causes related to injury and disease.

Elderly people can’t use protein as efficiently as younger folk and thus need significantly more protein. This is why a high-protein diet is an effective way to help mitigate or even prevent the effects of sarcopenia, and especially when combined with resistance training (yes, even the elderly can build muscle!).

As an added bonus, a high-protein diet also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, another serious health risk associated with aging.

What constitutes a high-protein diet, exactly?

Advice on how much protein to eat is all over the place, and scientific research is often used to support all kinds of contradictory positions.

Some people claim the body needs very little protein regardless of activity level while others claim that protein should always comprise 40 to 50% of daily calories to optimize body composition and athletic performance.

The Institute of Medicine says that protein should comprise 10 to 35% of our daily calories, but that’s quite a large range. How do we decide where our intake should fall in it? And are there any benefits to even higher intakes?

To find some answers, let’s review some of the studies available on the protein needs of athletes in particular.

According to research conducted by scientists at McMaster University, a protein intake of 1.3 – 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (.6 – .8 grams per pound of body weight) is adequate for stimulating maximal protein synthesisThey did note, however, that more protein may be needed when you’re training frequently and intensely and when you’re restricting calories for fat loss.

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A study conducted by researchers at The University of Western Ontario concluded the same: 1.6 – 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight might be enough for athletes, but higher intakes may also be warranted depending on a wide variety of factors including energy intake, carbohydrate availability, exercise intensity, duration and type, dietary protein quality, training history, gender, age, timing of nutrient intake, and more.

There’s also evidence that the longer you lift weights, the less protein your body needs to retain and build muscle.

As you can see, the question of how much protein to eat is fairly complex, but when you review the large amount of literature available, a general consensus emerges:

  • If you’re relatively lean and not in a calorie deficit, 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is enough to reap the many benefits of a high-protein diet.

This also jives with the “gym lore” that bodybuilders have sworn by for decades: 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

  • If you’re relatively lean and in a calorie deficit, 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is probably best.

Research shows that restricting calories increases the protein needs of resistance-trained athletes, and especially as leanness increases (the leaner you are, the more protein your body will need to preserve muscle while in a calorie deficit).

If you’re quite overweight (20% body fat and above in men and 30% and above in women), you can eat 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass while in a calorie deficit and do well (check out my article on measuring your body fat percentage to learn more about this).

My personal experience agrees with the above as well. I’ve found that I don’t need more than 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight when “bulking” and if I drop below this number when “cutting,” I lose strength faster (which indicates muscle loss).

Are there health risks associated with a high-protein diet?

The mainstream media has been buzzing with anti-protein propaganda over the last few years with claims like a high-protein diet can cause damage to the kidneys and increase the risk of cancer and osteoporosis, but these claims simply aren’t supported by sound scientific research.

Research shows that people with pre-existing kidney damage or disfunction should restrict protein intake, but a high-protein diet has never been shown to cause kidney damage.

Ironically, a high-protein diet has been shown to both lower blood pressure and improve blood glucose control in diabetics, which would decrease the risk of kidney disease, not increase it.

Claims that a high-protein diet increases the risk of osteoporosis are even stranger, as research directly demonstrates that it helps prevent the condition.

Another rather disturbing claim that has recently made the rounds is that a high-protein diet increases the risk of cancer and eating meat and cheese regularly is as unhealthy as smoking.

Well, while such sensationalism works wonders for website hits, it’s misleading and scientifically bankrupt. To quote Dr. Spencer Nadolsky from Examine.com:

 “To even suggest that eating protein is as bad as smoking is pure sensationalism…

 “A more accurate headline for this study would have been ‘High protein for those between 50 years to 65 years old who have poor diet and lifestyle habits may be associated with increased cancer risk.'”

If you want to learn more about this controversial issue, check out Dr. Nadolsky’s in-depth analysis of the research used to link a high-protein diet to cancer.

The Bottom Line

If you’re physically active, a high-protein diet is, without question, going to help you improve your health, body composition, and performance (this applies to endurance athletes as well).

And while sedentary people don’t need as much protein as those that exercise regularly, research shows that the current RDI of 0.8 grams per kg of bodyweight simply isn’t enough to maintain lean mass and bone health as they age.

 

What’s your take on a high-protein diet? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Debbye S. Sparks

    Question. So, “high protein diet” does not mean your protein intake will be higher than carbohydrates, right? It just means you will eat enough protein according to your goals? Meaning that you might still be eating more carbs than protein, but it would be let’s say 50% p 40% c or 50 % c 40 % p, depending the case?

    • Lucas

      Debbye – yes, you are right. Percentages are really an individual thing based up on your weight, goals, etc. It really isn’t appropriate to say something like “everyone must eat 40% protein.

      I’d suggest you read this:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      Hope that helps!

      • Michael Matthews

        Thanks Lucas!

    • Michael Matthews

      It could be depending on where you want your carbs at. I’m not a fan of low-carb dieting so for me, my carbs really never drop below protein intake.

      Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      • Debbye S. Sparks

        Even when cutting? Interesting..

        • Michael Matthews

          Low-carb is just shitty. Check this out:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/low-carb-diet/

          • Debbye S. Sparks

            lol thanks for the BS-Free answers as always

          • Michael Matthews

            My pleasure. 😉

  • Jim Anderson. U.K

    What do you think of the 5:2 diet,where one can only eat 600 calories on 2 days,and whatever you want for 5?

    • Steve Crook

      600 cals a day for two days running? You’re going to feel pretty wretched on those two days if you’re doing any sort of exercise at all and probably binge to make up.

      Better to stick to a caloric intake you can keep up 6 days a week. You’d be able to keep it up for several weeks.

      I managed to lose 1kg a week for 6 weeks *and* train. All without really feeling terribly hungry or stinting on my exercise routine. I had a pause for a month and then did another deficit for 6 weeks and got shot of the rest of the weight I was trying to lose.

      Mikes advice on diet works. Read through it. You don’t need any fancy techniques, just eat the right quantities of the right stuff and exercise.

      • Jim Anderson

        No not 2 days running,but any 2 days of the week

        • Steve Crook

          Still painful tho’

          I’d been struggling to lose more than 1lb every couple of weeks. Mikes site gave me the impetus I needed to sort out a proper diet plan and
          combine it with the right sort of exercise.

          Calc a BMR, adjust for your training to get total calories. Allow roughly 3600cals for each pound you want to lose and work your meal plans out from that.

          I calculated I was burning 3000-3200 calories a day and tried to eat ~1800 per day for six days. A total deficit of ~7200. On day 7 I’d eat up to my allowance for the day.

          Try your diet for two or three weeks and see if you’re meeting your goals. Tweak it. I found caffeine (via coffee) useful both to suppress appetite and nudge my metabolism. I trained fasted and ate little and often.

          When there was a choice between eating a little less or exercising a little more, I chose to walk to burn a few more calories. It was nothing more complicated than that.

          Overall, the trick is to have a calorie deficit. If you’re eating as much as you like 5 days a week, I’m not sure how you’d go. Lets say you’re not training on the 600 days and getting a total deficit of 3500 cals. Not a massive amount if you’re eating what you like on the other five days.

          Dive into Mikes site.

          • Michael Matthews

            Great replies Steve. Glad to hear you’re doing well.

          • Jim Anderson u.k

            I will let you know how I get on,I only want to lose about 5-6 kilos,this is first week,done 2 days fast and lost 2 kilos,whic I have found quite easy so far,it is a v.popular weight loss program in the uk at the moment,with no downside,I done some light training on fast days,burning about 300 calls felt o.k,only codicile for this diet drink plenty of water.

          • Steve Crook

            Keep your protein intake up to avoid excessive muscle loss. If you find the diet stalls at some point (which it might) do the meal plans, weigh your portions and count those calories. Remember, the *only* way you’ll lose weight is by being in a calorie deficit.

            Lucky you that you only needed to lose 5-6kg 🙂 I was 89 and have ended up at 74 and I didn’t think I was *that* fat (no gut or anything like that) and thought I’d stop at 80-83Kg, but there seemed to be plenty of blubber left 😐 so I pushed on. I’m at 11-12% fat according to callipers and eye, so I’d like to drop another three kilos at some point but I have a shape I can live with while I try to add some muscle.

            Good luck. Ultimately, it’s a question of having a diet that works for you and leaving you in a position where you can maintain your desired weight.

    • Michael Matthews

      Pretty silly unless you have trouble with bingeing. Particularly silly if you exercise regularly.

      • Shaun

        Hi Mike –

        This is the BBC Horizon programme that has introduced the idea of the 5:2 diet to a lot of people. I’m not sure if you are able to watch it in America but do so on your recumbent if you are able – lots of fascinating research talked about.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lxyzc

        Shaun

        • Steve Crook

          Thing that struck me about the first two programmes was the lack of any discussion on the risk of muscle loss and absence of detail on what makes up the diets. It appeared that only one of the groups was on a high protein diet.

          There’s an associated interactive EBook.

          In the second programme they got around to telling viewers about the initial loss of water and slowing of weight loss after that. You have to watch a lot of TV to get much useful information.

          TBH it was more reality TV than anything serious about managing weight. I’m going to take a look at the EBook though.

        • Michael Matthews

          I talk about IF type diets here:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-definitive-guide-to-intermittent-fasting/

          I wouldn’t recommend 5:2 for people lifting weights regularly. It’s going to get in the way of their training…

          • Steve Crook

            In the accompanying EBook they recommend having the two 600 cal days back to back for maximum effect.

            It was bad enough lifting weights fasted, but at least I knew I could expect a solid breakfast afterwards. I don’t even like to think about doing a ‘legs’ workout during my second 600cal day…

          • Michael Matthews

            Yeah that’s pure misery.

  • Steven Scott

    Mike, I have two questions about the Legion supplements. I just ordered a jar of each to try out (I’m new to the supplement concept), and I’m wondering whether the Pulse and Recharge are to be taken during a cutting period, or saved for a bulk. The others appear pretty self-explanatory.
    Also, should the macro nutrient content of supplements (if any, I don’t have the specs handy) be included in a meal plan as if they were food, or ignored? Obviously, whey protein counts as protein, of course.
    Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Steven! I appreciate the support.

      Yes both Pulse and Recharge are great for cutting. Pulse will help you maintain intensity in your workouts and Recharge will help you maintain strength and lean mass while in a calorie deficit.

      Yes count cals in supplements although in this case there are only 5 cals (5 cals per serving of Pulse and 0 per serving of Recharge).

  • James

    Hi mike, Im currently travelling around Asia and I’m probably only eating 60 to 120g protein a day and all my lifts are still increasing. I’m in a slight calorie surplus. I’m 85kg about 12 per cent. Any idea how I’m getting by on such ‘low’ protein each day? Thanks james

    • Michael Matthews

      You can still make gains on a lower protein diet but you would do better if you tried to hit about 160 per day on average.

  • Steve M.

    Hi Mike

    I love your site and your book. I’m looking to get a tailored meal plan based on my target macros and have found dozens of guys via Instagram and the like but I’m wondering if this is something you can help me out with?

    Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Sure, check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

  • Steve B

    Mike,

    Good article and in regards to cutting and taking bulk supplements leucine which tastes awful and any good recommendation on how to take it so that it will make the taste better.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah mix it with pre-workout. 🙂

  • James Pruitt

    If you’re trying to lose some body fat and gain muscle at the same time, is it 1g per current body weight or desired body weight?
    Thanks,
    James

    • Steve Crook

      Current. It won’t hurt to be slightly over, while slightly under may mean you’re not getting enough protein.

    • Michael Matthews

      Current unless you’re quite overweight. If you’re over 25% body fat you can go with 1 gram per pound of lean mass and do fine.

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  • Mike,
    So it’s 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, or if you’re lean and cutting you can go with per pound of lean mass. Got it.
    But someone who is older needs more.
    I’m 45. What will be a good rule of thumb for me? How many grams per pound of bodyweight or lean mass should I calculate?
    If it helps, I’m 5’8″, 77kg or 170lbs, 10-12%bf.
    Thanks! Sean

    • Michael Matthews

      Personally I do 1.2 grams per pound when cutting based on the research cited in this article. “Just in case” and all that.

      If you maintain on 1 gram per pound and cut on 1.2 you’ll do great.

      • You wouldn’t make it higher due to being older?

        • Michael Matthews

          No, you won’t need more than that.

  • Oze

    Information packed article as usual Mike and all good advice but beg to disagree on your “low carb” diets comment. “Low” is rarely defined but if it is down under 30% of total daily calories then I agree with you but there is a wealth of credible research papers that show very significant health benefits of low carbs. Even weight lifters though should do well on around 45% carb. Too high a carb such as 60% means low fat and that is not a good long term health plan.
    One of many references is for the article Low Carb Diets for Athletes by Noakes, Volek and Phinney 2014 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine http://www.bjsm.bmj.com and search for the title and authors given above.
    Cheers, Oze

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Oze!

      Low-carb begins around 30% from carb but most low-carb diets you see people on are 205 and under.

      Personally I get about 40-45% of cals from carbs, and it’s great. It’s not low-carb though. 🙂

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  • Richie

    We are seeing an increase on peer-reviewed results in the low-carb ketogenic diets,

    The effects of ketogenic dieting on skeletal muscle and fat mass

    Jacob T Rauch1, Jeremy E Silva1, Ryan P Lowery1, Sean A McCleary1, Kevin A Shields1, Jacob A Ormes1, Matthew H Sharp1, Steven I Weiner1, John I Georges,1, Jeff S Volek2, Dominic P D’agostino3 and Jacob M Wilson1

    and

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1743-7075-1-2.pdf

    also, 1 or 2 studies showing a “benefits cap” on protein over 0.8g/lb of Bodyweight.

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1992), Walberg et al. (1988)

    I’m actually pro-Carbs/Protein also so interested in your opinion.

    Thoughts?

    • Michael Matthews

      I replied to your other on the low-carb and regarding protein, 0.8 g/lb is probably fine if you’re at maintenance or surplus calories but there’s research that indicates a bit more is optimal if you’re lean and in a deficit.

  • Richie

    What about the more recent research on Ketogenic Diets and Muscle Growth/Fat Loss.

    The effects of ketogenic dieting on skeletal muscle and fat mass

    Jacob T Rauch, Jeremy E Silva, Ryan P Lowery, Sean A McCleary, Kevin A Shields, Jacob A Ormes, Matthew H Sharp, Steven I Weiner, John I Georges, Jeff S Volek, Dominic P D’agostino, Jacob M Wilson

    As well as Studies showing a “Benefit Cap” on Protein’s effects over levels of 0.85g/lb of Bodyweight:

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1992)

    even in cutting weight:

    alberg et al. (1988) studied cutting weightlifters and they still found 0.73g/lb was sufficient to maintain lean body mass

    Thoughts?

  • Richie

    What about the more recent research on Ketogenic Diets and Muscle Growth/Fat Loss.

    The effects of ketogenic dieting on skeletal muscle and fat mass

    Jacob T Rauch, Jeremy E Silva, Ryan P Lowery, Sean A McCleary, Kevin A Shields, Jacob A Ormes, Matthew H Sharp, Steven I Weiner, John I Georges, Jeff S Volek, Dominic P D’agostino, Jacob M Wilson

    As well as Studies showing a “Benefit Cap” on Protein’s effects over levels of 0.85g/lb of Bodyweight:

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1992)

    even in cutting weight:

    alberg et al. (1988) studied cutting weightlifters and they still found 0.73g/lb was sufficient to maintain lean body mass

    Thoughts?

    P.S. These Comments seem to be getting deleted. Could be a problem with the site.

  • Richie

    What about the more recent research on Ketogenic Diets and Muscle Growth/Fat Loss.

    The effects of ketogenic dieting on skeletal muscle and fat mass

    Jacob T Rauch, Jeremy E Silva, Ryan P Lowery, Sean A McCleary, Kevin A Shields, Jacob A Ormes, Matthew H Sharp, Steven I Weiner, John I Georges, Jeff S Volek, Dominic P D’agostino, Jacob M Wilson

    As well as Studies showing a “Benefit Cap” on Protein’s effects over levels of 0.85g/lb of Bodyweight:

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1992)

    even in cutting weight:

    alberg et al. (1988) studied cutting weightlifters and they still found 0.73g/lb was sufficient to maintain lean body mass

    Thoughts?

    • Michael Matthews

      Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/low-carb-diet/

  • Jim Anderson

    Hi Mike
    I’m 66 yrs old and 80 kg,I am using My Fitness Friend app and it advises me to eat 2000 calories per day,consisting of carbs 50 percent,fat 30,and protein 20 percent,should I change the percentages to allow for my age? I train about 5-6 days per wk,for about 1-2 hours,depending if I do cardio or not

    • Hey Jim!

      Yeah I would change a bit. Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      • Jim Anderson

        Thanks Mike,just a little tweak needed .and thanks for being available to answer mine and everybody else’s questions,muck appreciated .

  • Saurabh

    Hi Mike,
    Your website is a holy book like stuff for anyone who is into fitness. My query here is that, I am a vegetarian. I consume 1 gram protein per pound bodyweight for one year now and surely I have made gains, but a strange thing is that my friends who dont even complete 100 gm protein per day are ahead of me in strenghth as well as gains. Is there something that stops or minimize the protein absorbed by a person’s body.
    Btw I take whey, milk, rice, curd and cottage cheese to get my protein mostly. I really want to understand this funda. Kindly guide

    • Haha thanks!

      Hmm dairy is a good source of protein. I’ve seen research that indicates that meats trumps all though when it comes to building muscle and strength.

      That said, you may just be seeing genetics/training/diet advantages?

      • Saurabh

        Thanks for the reply Mike, but again how can a person who is having 2 scoops of whey daily is not responding as much as a persoin who is just consuming a few eggs or some chicken twice or thrice a week. Has it something to do with Nitrogen balance in body of an individual or some individuals can not consume all the protein that they ingest by different sources as me.
        Its really sad part for me, coz I have not been able to understand this concept at all. Kindly guide.

        • The protein probably isn’t the issue. How you’re training vs. them, rest & recovery, genetics, etc. are the more likely culprits.

          • Saurabh

            Humnn. Unfortunately, that might be the issue then. I have read that L-Arginine can help in inreasing the protein assimilation in body or it can be said the other way that it aids in retaining nitrogen in body. But some studies say that it affects the dopamine levels in body which in turn affects the sexual stamina of a person making him over excited. Is that so and if not, can i add this stuff to my diet intake?? .

          • No, L-arg won’t help you.

            Check this out:

            http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-hardgainers-guide-to-guaranteed-muscle-growth/

          • Saurabh

            Hi Mike,
            Thanks for the reference. I had already read the article that you have mentioned 🙂 moreover I have read the BLS completely 3 times, and its by heart to me now. Just bcz I have not been able to achieve what I wanted to and wanted to know abiut better assimilation of protein in my body, thatsy why aksed about L-Arg. Thanks a tonn for this stuff. God bless you bro !!!

          • Oh cool! Thanks for the support!

            Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

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  • Marie

    Hey Mike, thanks for all the great info. Is there any reason that increasing protein intake would cause a weight gain? Or that the excess protein that can’t be absorbed would be turned to fat? My workout routine hasn’t changed (6x week), and I eat mostly vegetarian (have been doing a shake after my workout), but I’ve noticed I’ve put on a few pounds instead of losing, as was my goal (I’m a 28yo woman, 5’9″, 150). I’ve been trying to use the AccuMeasure calipers to check body fat percentage, in hopes it was muscle instead of fat, but those darn calipers give me a different reading every single time… Anyway, thanks so much for all the wonderful info on your site!

    • YW!

      Yeah excess protein provides excess calories and it DOES result in fat gain. Yes, the TEF of protein is higher than carbs and fat but you can still gain weight by eating too much protein (calories) every day.

      Check this out:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/

      • Marie

        Thanks, Mike! Your video with the AccuMeasure was incredibly helpful, I’m getting much more consistent readings now.

        For the protein, I have still been in a calorie deficit while increasing the protein (between the shakes and egg whites, I’ve been keeping the total calorie intake low). Would that still explain the weight gain? I guess I’m confused what the body does with unused/excess protein, and if it gets converted to fat, even if the daily calories aren’t exceeded.

        • YW! Great!

          No if you’re in a deficit you won’t gain fat. Do keep this in mind though:

          http://www.muscleforlife.com/counting-calories/

          • Marie

            Thank you, another very helpful article! I’m going to try adjusting my macro ratios slightly, even with the increase of protein I’ve been getting I have a hard time hitting the 30% goal (getting 140g of protein per day is proving quite challenging on a vegetarian diet, without going over 40g of fat either). Thanks again!

          • Yeah I understand. You can increase fats if you need to. Just decrease carbs to compensate. For every 2 grams of carb you remove you can add 1 gram of fat.

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  • edd

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the article! I just read one of those sensationistic articles about protein being as cancerous as cigarettes for the 50-65 age group–in Scientific American, no less! I knew you’d probably addressed the issue somewhere. Thanks for the reassurance!

    • Glad you liked it! Haha yeah it’s your standard sensationalist journalism.

  • Matt

    Hi Mike,

    Would appreciate your thoughts on something….

    Keen to maintain a high protein diet, I tried some bread at my parents house at the weekend, made by a national retailer on at their on site bakery, they are called ‘Protein Rolls’. My Mum said they tasted good, and sure enough they did. Quite heavy dark bread, loaded with seeds. When I looked the nutritional information up I was expecting maybe 5g or so of protein, mostly from the seeds, but was amazed to find that they pack a reported 27g protein per 100g!! These things are like 12cm trianlgular shaped rolls. I’ve listed the published ingredients/macro’s below, and wanted to know what you thought. Clearly this isn’t meat or milk protein – do you think the ingredients listed point to a decent source of protein? Is there something fishy going on here?!

    Ingredients:

    Water, Linseeds, Wheat Protein, Soya Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Sesame, Soybean Meal, Sunflower Seeds, Wheat Bran, Oat Fiber, Yeast, Salt, Colouring Spice, Extracts (Curcuma).

    Nutritional Information:

    Typical Values per 100g:

    Energy 1194kJ/268kcal
    Fat 13.4g (Of which saturates 0.4g)
    Carbohydrate 8.5g (Of which sugars 0.5g)
    Fibre 12.4g
    Protein 26.7g
    Salt 0.99g
    Thoughts welcome.
    Thanks
    Matt

    • Sounds like it’s from the wheat protein (gluten probably) and soy flour. Not a great source of protein IMO.

  • Jenny Hudson

    Protein diet is very good 4 healthy weight loss. http://www.amazingaus.com/best-foods-to-eat-when-losing-weight/

  • Aikas

    Hey Mike,
    How much of my Daily Protein should come from Meat Sources in order to reap the benefits of increasing the Growth hormone and etc?
    Take care!

    • Good question and I wouldn’t eat meat for that reason, really.

      There’s limited evidence that meat is better for muscle building over the long term but it’s not a “game changer” by any means.

      You also need to keep this in mind:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/is-red-meat-bad-for-you/

  • ankita

    Hi.mike.however hard I try I cudnt exceed my protein beyond 100 gms. I weigh 61 kg. Nd on a calorie deficit.also m an eggetarian.
    Also I want to know if instead of lifting weights I use theraband for strengthening exercises. Will dat be ok? Please advise.

    • Yeah, it can tough being an eggetarian. I recommend eating foods like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc. and then supplementing with vegetarian protein powder as necessary.

      You can get results using those bands, but you will get better results following my program and focusing on the heavy, compound lifts.

      Hope this helps! LMK.

  • josh castellanos

    Hey mike,
    I weigh 225 pounds and my body fat percentage is roughly 22%. I’m overweight and my goal is to cut down to 8% body fat while still gaining lean muscle and having a semi bulky physique. What amounts of protein should i take in on a daily basis to achieve this goal? and should i be cutting down on carbs or fats to the lowest possible since i already have excess energy? please help me out

    • Hey Josh! I like your goal! Let’s make it happen.

      To build muscle while losing fat, check this out:

      https://legionathletics.com/body-recomposition/

      To calculate where all your macros should be, check this out:

      https://legionathletics.com/diet-meal-plans/

      LMK how it goes.

  • Chad Avalon

    What can you do about stinky protein farts.

    • Haha, those can tend to happen on high-protein diets. If you’re having a good amount of dairy, I recommend lowering your dairy intake. Otherwise, you just have to give it some time. Your body will adjust.

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