Can TOO MUCH Protein Make You FAT?
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Can TOO MUCH Protein Make You FAT?

November 9, 2019

Can eating too much protein actually be a
bad thing? Some of you might already know how much I
love preaching protein, both in my videos and all across social media. Side note, you should totally follow me on
Instagram for more protein goodness at picturefit. Normally, I prescribe that, for healthy individuals,
1.6 grams to 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is ideal for virtually all fitness
goals. My reasoning for more than the usual 0.8 grams
you might see elsewhere is quite heavily outlined in my previous work, so check that out if
you’re interested to learn more. But, what about eating even more than what
I recommend? Would more actually have more benefits or
do things turn for the worse? Today, let’s jump into the research to find
out. Now, when we think about goals like weight
and fat loss, general recommendation is to adjust the amount of carbs and fats we are
eating. Protein rarely is ever the primary focus and
it’s often simply assumed that eating too much protein like carbs and fats, would also
lead to weight and fat gain. However, this isn’t always be the case,
at least not for both weight AND fat. A 2014 study in the Journal of International
Society of Sports Nutrition found that, for 8 weeks, eating a very high protein diet while
eating the same amount of carbs and fats as a control group, did increase weight but no
changes to fat while adding more fat-free mass. But the juicy part is in the details:
The high protein group ate LOTS of protein, a staggering 4.4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. For an average 80-kilogram individual, that‘s
352 grams of protein per day. This study involved slightly lighter folks
with an average of 307 grams of protein per day. Still quite a huge lotta protein. But perhaps the most eye-opening statistic,
however, is not the protein, but the total calories. On average, the high protein diet group ate
roughly 800 more calories than they normally do. And yet, they only gained 1.7 kilograms of
weight on average within 8 weeks and most of it was fat-free mass, not fat. So what does this tell us? For one, this goes right against the proverbial
“all calories are equal.” Frankly, though, if we’ve been following
the research, this was always kind of the case when considering the different uses we
have for each macronutrient. Carbs and fats are primarily used for energy;
thus, the body will prioritize them for energy systems. And any excess carbs and fats will be stored
energy in ways of fat. Protein, is kind of magical, in the sense
that it’s rarely used as energy since our body has many uses for it, like building muscle. Also, it takes lots of energy to actually
metabolize protein, so it would be best if it wasn’t used for it. Another point I’ve been emphasizing, especially
with infographics on my Instagram, @picturefit, is the thermic effect of food. In short, protein requires a great deal of
energy to digest and absorb, with some estimates of 35% of its energy provision used for digestion
versus carbs and fat’s 5 to 15% percent. In essence, if you eat more protein, you naturally
burn more calories. And it’s been show to be even higher the
more fit you are. Now, the researchers of this study believe
that there could potentially be greater body composition changes. Especially when previous studies, like a 2012
study by Bray et al, found a very clear and distinct positive relationship between lean
body mass and protein intake with no difference in fat mass. This led to the researchers to run another
experiment. They believed the lack of body composition
changes in their study wasn’t due to a potential limit to protein intake, but likely because
the subjects were not given a proper periodized training program. So, in 2015, for another 8 weeks, the researchers
compared a protein diet of 2.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight versus a high protein diet of
3.4 grams while deploying the subjects into a periodized resistance training program 5
times a week. This time, while eating much more calories
again, the high protein subjects DID NOT gain any weight but the lower protein group did. Fat-free mass increased in both groups again,
with no statistically significant differences. But the major difference is in fat mass. Fat mass decreased, on average, by only 0.3
kilograms in lower-protein subjects, which is not statistically meaningful. With higher protein intake, fat mass dropped
by a significantly higher 1.6 kilograms. This is a 20.2 to 19.6% bodyfat percentage
change in the low protein subjects, and an 18.3 to 15.9% bodyfat change in the high protein
group. Bear in mind again, both groups were eating
MUCH more calories than usual and still dropped fat while not gaining weight with higher levels
of protein. In essence, and the answer to this video,
having a decent training program paired with eating LOTS of protein isn’t all that much
a bad thing, but instead can potentially help you build muscle while losing fat given you
are training sufficiently. Now, some of you might be thinking, and for
good reason, is eating this much protein actually SAFE? In the 2015 study, the researchers did measure
certain protein-related health variables, such as glomerular filtration rate and creatinine,
and found no changes when eating the high protein diet. But, this was only an 8-week study. Long-term effects are still unknown, and if
you have related pre-existing issues, then please take these findings with a huge grain
of salt and consult your healthcare professional first. Even then, I personally wouldn’t recommend
more than my usual 1.6 grams to 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be much of
a long-term risk in this range as long as you’re healthy. I’ve talked about this in other videos as
well as my infographics on my INSTAGRAM, @picturefit, so please come check that out if you like. Other than that, please let me know what you
think about eating super high amounts of protein. If you enjoyed this video, please give it
a super thumbs up share it with your protein-loving friends. Oh, and following me on Instagram. My tag is @picturefit
As always, thank you for watching and, fittingly, GET YOUR PROTEIN!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. "Can eating too much protein actually be a bad thing?" Actually, in the long term, it probably is. I have read a few research papers that have concluded that protein restriction – or at least restriction of amino acids such as methionine and the brainched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine – extends lifespan in a variety of eukaryotic organisms. Humans are also eukaryotic organisms, however the conclusion that protein restriction is beneficial for humans isn't yet written in stone because it's expensive and unrealistic to conduct quality, very long-term nutritional studies in humans. Nevertheless, here are two articles describing the mechanisms by which protein restriction may be beneficial.

    The Conserved Role for Protein Restriction During Aging and Disease

    The impact of dietary protein intake on longevity and metabolic health

    With this in mind, I have stopped worrying much about protein and protein supplements. Although this will likely very slightly compromise my strength-related athletic performance, I predict it's going to be worth it as the years pass.

  2. U could have noted that the reason they ate 800 more calories was (i assume) was to accommodate for the fact that about 30% calories from protein is burned just to metabolize. ( 30% of 2500cal = 750) 2500 to roughly estimate the amount of cals they consumed. In conclusion calories were probably calculated to be equal after digestion. At least I’m guessing, correct me if im wrong. I would have loved to hear more info about the studies like protein source & how controlled it was. Oh shit i just seen the part where u talk about protien burning cals lol

  3. but in the end of the day its calorie whats make u gain weight it dosen't matter if it comes from fat protein or carbs, in my opinion to much protein is a waste!

  4. I usually only drink my protein powder shake after I workout. But if I miss a day I don’t drink it. Should I be drinking it in the days I miss a workout too?

  5. It's pretty hard to eat a lot of protein everyday since I weigh 100kg I have to eat 230grams each day which is quite a lot! On average I eat around 150grams a day which is not enough I guess..

  6. Just off the title I can answer the question. No. Too much protein doesn't make you fat. Too many CALORIES makes you fat.

  7. I have a good question for a future video: modern protein powder such as whey protein vs old school home made protein shake made from 2 raw eggs, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of peanutbutter, wheat germ oil and 5 dl milk, as they used to drink back in the day for muscle building. Which is better? Are there any benefits in using old school protein shakes? Arnold schwarzenegger is still using this recepie to this day and he is one of the greatest body builders of all time!

  8. Hey PictureFit
    I just wanted to say thank you……
    I've been watching your videos for at least half a year now and it's been exactly 40 days since I started my diet.
    It has been very rough in the beginning and thankfully your videos helped me to keep on going.
    I started at 270 pound and now I'm nearly at 252…
    If there are some guys who are interested in seeing how well I'll be doing, I'm trying to give a weekly update 😅
    And again a huge Thank You PictureFit for your whole work that you put into you videos !
    Please keep on doing those videos 👍

  9. My super muscular brother 6ft 92kgs takes 6scoop of protein every day and around 16-20eggs. He is super fit and can almost do calisthenics.

  10. But how much exercise is required in order to ensure that a high protein and macro nutrient excess is turned into muscle rather than fat?

  11. Would love to know what kind of protein we should be eating on a high protein diet? Surely not 100g from all protein powders?

  12. Help me out here, I’m 160lbs 5’5”. I do Olympic weightlifting 5x a times a week. How much of protein would you recommend? Thanks in advance.

  13. How do I know you actually have a physique that is impressive so I know the advice you are giving us actually works, with you being living proof?
    Also I enjoyed the vid so I subbed 🤙

  14. Your body only converts protein to sugar "as needed". You would also literally die if it converted large amounts to sugar because of the byproducts. So effectively you can totally ignore all calories from protein.

  15. I had DVT and my doctor told me that it happened due to me taking Protein. (My protein intake was roughly 60g/day.)

  16. I struggle to get more than 35g of protein and if I did eat any more I would either be eating only protein for all my food or eating in a calorie surplus sighhhhhh

  17. to much preotein can make you fat… it happened to me i learned my lesson pssst pssst i did carnivore diet for 3 months i have stupidly hunger issues strill trying to fix

  18. Remember, if you wanna grow, make sure you eat your fats. They literally make up all of the cell membranes. High fat, high protein, and low carbs from fruit and vegetable sources will get you YOKED. Have an even blend of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats though.

  19. After a month of eating around 350grams, mainly coming from pork, without supplements, with 84,5bw before now im 87 with a six pack first time in ma life

  20. I don’t agree. An unnatural amount og protein intake can have a bad impact on your liver and kidney function. Another thing is that protein gets broken down into ammonia which can lead to protein poisoning if your protein intake is too high. What are your thoughts on this?

  21. You could have mentioned that at some point, too much protein can be detrimental if it comes at the expense of other nutrients. A lack of fats (hormonal issues), carbs (energy during workouts, particularly anaerobic) or fruit & vegetables (micros & fiber) should be avoided.

  22. 1g per pound (about 2g per kg) should be enough, too much converts the unneeded protein to carbs. Imagine eating 50g more protein than you need. Might as well eat a slice of bread at that point. Keep protein as needed, carbs as close to 0 as you can and the fats high. 1g per pound protein fill rest of calories whether ur cutting or bulking with fat.

  23. Completely wrong. First you need to calculate your lean body mass. Substract the body fat percentage from your body weight. Then eat around 1g per kg of that. Everything more than that will make you gain weight because it’s turned into glucose and if that’s not burnt off it will turn into fat. So answer: yes, too much protein will make you gain weight and it’s also unhealthy

  24. Eating too much protein will give you renal failure. Too much protein is bad for kidneys. You'll be a lean machine… on dialysis 3 times a week xD

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