I am a New Zealand registered nurse and nutritionist (Grad Cert Sci: nutrition, Massey Univ). During the first couple of weeks, the researchers tinkered with participants’ diets to determine exactly how many calories they needed to maintain their body weight. That worked out to volunteers eating an average of 47, 139 or 228 grams of protein per day. But people in the low-protein group stored more than 90 percent of their extra calories as fat and lost body protein (muscle mass), while other participants gained both fat and healthier lean muscle, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Essentially carbohydrate stayed the same, but the ratio of protein to carbohydrate changed.
So as you can see – the group that put on the most body fat was the low protein group. Even a University Professor in New Zealand has stated in a National Publication that a low protein diet is better than a high protein one as people gain less weight on it! Dr Kate Scott in a letter (which Jamie pointed out) to the editor in New Zealand Listener, which was in response to an excellent article by Nutritionist Jennifer Bowden, on the importance of protein intake for weight loss. You see like the others Dr Scott has not bothered to look at the actual amount of fat gain in the study. What I actually wanted to look at when I started writing this post was the amount of protein per kg per day that allowed people to gain a remarkable 3 kg of lean mass in just 8 weeks! You really have to laugh at researchers like Dr Scott who put so much weight in epidemiology.


You’d think with the sophisticated measuring devices available now (BIA, DEXXA, BODPOD), they could report something more accurate. Again this emphasises to me the importance of maintaining a good protein intake, especially if you are wanting to lose weight. I am a Certified Zone Instructor, and have worked teaching Zone diet principles to hundreds of clients over the last 10 years. George Bray from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recruited 25 young, healthy volunteers to live in their lab and eat a prescribed diet for two to three months.
One-third of the participants were fed a standard diet with 15 percent of their calories coming from protein, while the others ate low- or high-protein diets with either five or 25 percent of calories from protein. The low-protein diet group put on about seven pounds per person, compared to 13 or 14 pounds in the normal- and high-protein groups. They make no distinction about the type of weight gained, nor do they make any point about the difference in fat gain, between the groups. In contrast, the high-protein diets led to changes in lean body mass and helped participants burn calories. David Heber, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-author of an editorial accompanying the new study. You simply cannot use a study where people are deliberately overfed in order to gain weight, to prove a point about weight loss. I am surprised though that people put on 3kg of lean mass just by eating more especially when living in the lab.


I was part way through a comment when I got jumped on by a 6 year old and wrote something like djgfiowhegv0p9ih3ob, then my browser closed….
In both groups that increased lean mass, resting and total energy expenditure also increased, but not however in the low protein group. Typically weight loss diets decrease all macronutrients, as they focus on calories alone, which is likely to result in lean mass loss and lowered resting energy expenditure. More recently after finding that eating Paleo food choices was the "icing on the cake" health wise, I have become a Paleo enthusiast and teacher. She is simply wrong, study after study has shown that a higher protein diet used for weight loss, maintains lean mass, gives superior appetite control, and in this way helps those who are overweight eat less and lose it more easily. So the formula that many in the fitness world subscribe to of not less than 1.0 gram per lb, seems to be a good guideline if you want to gain mass. Or did they have a gym facility there where they would spend their evenings rather than going to the pub? Even with a very exact program of training for lean gain and a targeted diet, I’d be happily surprised to see half that in someone I was training. However, if you also want to lose fat, excess carb calories as in this study would not be a great idea.



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