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    Overeating 1000 calories per day: weight gain of 14 lbs on 25% protein diet vs 7 lbs on 5% protein

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:55 am Email this article
    Here is a 7-minute video of obesity researcher, George Bray, MD, talking about the results of their new study in which they overfed subjects roughly an extra 1,000 calories per day of either a low-protein diet (5% protein), a normal-protein diet (15% protein), or a high-protein diet (25% protein), and the effect that this had on body weight and body fat.

    All groups gained weight. The normal- and high-protein groups gained the most weight (13-14 lbs vs 7 lbs for the low-protein group), and all groups gained roughly the same amount of body fat.

    In other words, overeating caused weight gain regardless of weather they were overeating a high-protein diet or a low-protein diet.

    Even though the low-protein group gained weight, they lost a small amount of lean body mass (muscle).

    Dr. Bray notes that this shows that not eating enough protein -- a diet containing only 5% protein -- will not prevent loss of lean body mass. He notes that this finding was unexpected.


    Subjects: 25 healthy, weight-stable men and women, 18- to 35-years-old

    The study involved 25 healthy, weight-stable men and women, 18- to 35-years-old with a body mass index (BMI) of 19 to 30 (lean to borderline-obese).

    They stayed in a metabolic unit for 3 months.


    Diet: 5% protein (low), 15% protein (normal) or 25% protein (high)

    “After consuming a weight-stabilizing diet for 13 to 25 days [2-3 weeks], participants were randomized to diets containing 5% of energy from protein (low protein), 15% (normal protein), or 25% (high protein), which they were overfed during the last 8 weeks of their 10- to 12-week stay in the inpatient metabolic unit,” the paper notes.


    Overfed 954 calories per day of the 5%, 15% or 25% protein diet for 2 months

    For the last two months of their stay, the subjects were overfed roughly 1000 calories per day (954 calories to be exact) of either the 5%, 15% or 25% protein diet.

    “Compared with energy intake during the weight stabilization period, the protein diets provided approximately 40% more energy intake, which corresponds to 954 [calories per day],” according to the paper.

    Weight Gain

    Weight Gain on 5% protein, 15% protein, 25% protein: 7 lbs vs 13 lbs vs 14 lbs

    The weight gain after overfeeding people an additional 954 calories per day was roughly:

    Fat Gain

    Fat Gain on 5% protein, 15% protein, 25% protein: 7 lbs vs 7 lbs vs 7 lbs

    The increase in body fat was:

    Muscle Gain

    Muscle Gain on 5% protein, 15% protein, 25% protein: -0.5 lbs vs 6.3 lbs vs 7 lbs

    The increase in lean body mass (muscle) was:

    Resting Metabolism

    Resting Metabolism on 5% protein, 15% protein, 25% protein: 0 calories vs 38 calories vs 54 calories per day

    Resting metabolism increased by:


    Conclusion: Calories count

    “Among persons living in a controlled setting, calories alone account for the increase in fat; protein affected energy expenditure and storage of lean body mass, but not body fat storage,” George Bray and his fellow researchers concluded.

    Previous Interview with George Bray

    Previous Interview with George Bray posted here

    An previous interview with George Bray on numerous topics about obesity and weight loss is posted here


    Bray G, Smith S, De Jonge L, Xie H, Rood J, Martin C, Most M, Brock C, Mancuso S, Redman L. Effect of dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition during overeating: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012 Jan 4, 307(1):47-55.


    George Bray, MD
    Pennington Biomedical Research Center
    6400 Perkins Rd
    Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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