New research suggests that a high protein diet and a diet with “normal” protein content are associated with a higher metabolic rate and greater storage of non-fatty body mass (including muscle mass). The low-protein diet can not do this.

It was also found that the increase in the rate of metabolism induced by the high-protein diet does not persist after changing the diet into a traditional one, which suggests that it is not possible to permanently “switch” to higher metabolism.

The author of the research, Elizabeth Frost, Pennington Biomedical Research Center says

Our research focused on checking if any of the diets – high protein, standard and low-protein – may lead to a lower body weight gain when all are high-calorie diets (their calorific value exceeds the energy requirement) when it is known that high-protein diet has the ability for programming the body to burn higher calories. We found that subjects on all diets gained the same weight, but the weight gain was different. People consuming high-protein and traditional diets in 45% increased body mass as a result of the increase in non-fatty body mass, including muscle mass. In people using the low-protein diet, as much as 95% of the increase in body weight resulted from the increase in fat mass.

Researchers concluded that the success of a high-protein slimming diet (eg Atkins diet) may be due to the greater severity of the natural processes of food metabolism that appear after a meal.


The subjects used diets

– high protein (25% of energy came from protein),

– traditional (15% of energy came from protein),

– low-protein (5% of energy came from protein).


The scientific environment interpreted this report in a similar way. These studies also prove that the negative energy balance is important in the process of weight loss – in order to reduce body mass, the type of diet is not important, but its calorie content is reduced.

Lionfitness comment

  1. We are surprised by the lack of attention of scientists to the important fact that in people who used high-protein diet and traditional weight gain resulted in 45% of the increase in non-fatty body mass (due to the fact that 55% of body weight was fat), and people being on a low-protein diet increased their body weight by as much as 95% through an increase in fat mass. Could scientists escape that the health and risk of developing many diseases is influenced by the proportion of non-fatty body mass to the mass of fat accumulated in the body? After all, body fat – visible to the naked eye and hidden (fatness of internal organs) – is considered a health measure. Therefore, it is not without significance whether increased body mass results from increased muscle mass or from greater body fat!
  2. The study used high-calorie diets, which in principle were supposed to cause an increase in body weight. And they caused so much that weight gain as a result of a low protein diet turned out to be less healthy, because to a greater extent (by 40%) it increased body fatness. Researchers focused solely on body weight rather than pointing out that it is better to overeat with protein than anything else.
  3. The study did not check the influence of various types of diets on people. These were high-calorie diets that boosted body weight, not diets that were aimed at slimming. Is it correct to speak about what is the most important in slimming based on the conclusions of the research, which was not a slimming goal, but a weight gain?

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