Pink Floyd has a bike and, thanks to this week’s grob
News: Study Suggests Type of Calories Doesn't Matter for Body Fat
Think a balanced diet is the key to avoiding weight gain? A new study suggests otherwise. Researchers say calories— not the ratio of protein, fat, and carbs— are the main reason we plump up.
In the study, 25 men and women ages 18 to 35 ate about 1,000 extra calories a day (who suckered them into that?) for eight weeks. But nutritional values varied among three groups— some ate a low-protein diet and others ate a normal or high-protein diet. Results showed all participants accumulated about the same amount of body fat, although the low-protein group gained slightly more fat. Study authors conclude excess calories mean extra body fat, regardless of whether those calories come from grilled chicken or Krispy Kremes.
While body fat levels were similar, the low-protein group gained the least amount of weight. But don’t carbo-load just yet— it’s probably because that group lost the most muscle mass. Metabolic rate (the speed at which the body burns calories) also increased slightly for those on the high-protein diet, which may explain why the high-protein group gained less body fat.
When it comes to losing or gaining body fat, this study suggests calories matter most. But protein and other nutrients have important health benefits, so stay away from a 1,000-calorie, Oreo-only diet. Eating more protein helps fill us up, and fiber in fruits and veggies can also help cut calories. So stick to nutritious foods that’ll satisfy us without packing on the calories— and those pesky pounds may stay off for good.
Dr. Douglas Kalman:
“Counting calories alone is insufficient for weight balance… Higher protein intakes correlate with enhanced metabolic rate (calorie burning), so it very well may be that slightly reduced calorie diets that have up to 25 percent calories from protein not only enhance fat free mass (muscle tone), but aid in fat loss.”
“The authors admit that the overfeeding phase of this study resulted in a daily energy surplus that was in excess of typical real world overeating… This leads me to question whether the results would have been different if the overeating phase contained less than a 40 percent surplus over total energy expenditure for each individual… Perhaps at a lower daily energy surplus, greater protein intake can decrease fat production to some extent.”
In the context of this study, calories mattered more than the amount of protein consumed. But the study may not be indicative of real-life overeating, and our experts suggest the amount of protein we eat can still affect our weight. Ultimately, this research suggests eating significantly more calories than we expend will lead to weight gain.
Comments Leave a comment
My take on this: You gain a pound of fat when you consume 3,500 calories from any macronutrient source...so this isn't surprising.Interestingly enough, I've read over several studies regarding protein and its effects on the body. For instance, some studies show it helps promote fullness and suppress the appetite. I don't really think overloading on protein is necessary to get slim, however, just a healthy eating plan that helps create a deficit.
Whole food proteins will help with satiety, and there is something to be said for the thermic effect of foods, but your final paragraph is really what people should take away from this. Body comp is influenced first by overall energy (calorie) balance, then macronutrient composition.
very interesting post.
very nice post.
In all honesty though, the "high" protein diet wasn't even THAT high, comparative to how low the "low" protein diet was.
"Who suckered them into that" was pretty much my first thought when I heard about this study. NOT something I would volunteer to participate in! :)
I'm weary everytime there is a new study out about calories and balanced diet. Theres an interesting book that came out last year by science journalist Gary Taubes called Why We Get Fat, that takes on the calories in vs. calories out, balanced diet, and not enough exercise mantra to fat loss/gain. His point is that it's a hormonal imbalance (insulin) that mainly effect fat gain/loss, ultimately saying the enemy is sugar, and all carbohydrates. Check out this article on scientific american to get a feel for the debate going around http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/05/16/thin-body-of-...