Will Protein Make You Fat?

It is almost impossible to get fat from protein.Protein and Fit

Many are still listening to outdated nutritional science and believe protein will cause you to gain weight.  To help shed some light on this I am giving you some good evidence that conflicts what your 1983 Nutrition text book says:

You can eat as much protein as you want and there is very little chance it will turn to fat.

Anyone confused on this issue should read this great article from Dylan Klein, Protein Will Not Make You Fat.

In this article, Klein sites a 2012 study in which three groups ate the exact same diet of macronutrients other than protein.  One group (low protein) averaged 47 grams of protein; group two (middle protein) averaged 140 grams of protein; and group three (high protein) averaged 230 grams of protein WOW!

Guess what they found?  The high protein group gained less body fat than the lower protein group (despite eating 1,000 more calories on average).  And the high protein group gained more lean muscle mass — shocker.

Think about what this HIGHLY CONTROLLED study says:

These subjects were literally forced to eat 1,000 kcals more than what they needed to maintain their body weight for 8 full weeks, and even then it was seen that the protein contributed to increases in lean body mass rather than body fat.

If reading is not your thing.  Here is a two minute video that explains why it is almost impossible to get fat from eating “too much” protein:

If you still don’t buy it — do this little experiment.

Month one:  eat your normal diet but cut your protein to under 50 grams a day.

Month two: eat your same normal diet, but increase your protein to whatever you feel like, and cut your sugar to under 50 grams a day (which btw, is still pretty high in my opinion for sugar).

I guarantee you will lean out during month two — despite the fact you likely ate more calories.

Its not the bacon making you fat.  Its the maple syrup you are dipping it in.
It’s not the bacon making you fat. Its the maple syrup you are dipping it in.



  1. Amber Vesey says

    Erik, AWESOME article! I got asked the other day if I was “bulking” or “trying to gain weight” because I was having a protein shake and then planned on eating more protein, when I said I followed a high protein diet, they told me that it “wasn’t necessary” to do that…

    It was one of those, hit yourself in the head “should have had a V8″ moment. I can’t tell you how many people are so ignorant to the awesome benefits of eating a high protein diet!

    Not only do I get to eat MORE, but I feel full longer.

    I am ALL about the protein, I dubbed myself, the Protein Princess!

    Sharing this on my facebook!

  2. Erik WalkerErik Walker says

    Thank you Amber! It really is incredible to think how many people are worried about eating too much protein. Of the 200-300 amino acids in your typical protein ONLY TWO even have the potential to turn to fat. And as Keifer points out, the energy it takes for those two amino acids to change to fat is actually metabolically higher than the calories they are worth. So keep eating that protein!

    Thanks for sharing Protein Princess!!!