Does "burning protein" cause a higher calorie burn than "burning carbs"?

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Joined: Aug 09
Posts: 26

Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 14:28
I've done a lot of research on this topic as a health coach and personal trainer. It's true that there is a different thermic effect of eating the various macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) and that protein does have a higher thermic effect than carbs (it takes more energy to digest them and break them down). That being said, when it comes to overall calorie burn, thermic effect of feeding, contributes very little to your overall metabolism throughout the day. The real benefit to protein over carbs is that it promotes lean mass building and will keep you full longer than carbs will. Fat is also slow digesting and will therefore keep you full much longer. Moral of the story? You need all three - and focus on moving your body and eating good quality whole foods to create the calorie expenditure you need to obtain the body composition you want.

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 1,356

Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 14:28
To answer your question Keld,

"Besides body weight, activity patterns and genetics, TEF is part of the equation that determines your metabolic rate for each given day. Paradoxically, ingesting energy costs energy and TEF is the increase in metabolic rate above basal conditions due to the cost of processing food for storage and use (ref). Simply put, every time you eat, the body expends a certain percentage of energy just to process the food you just ate. TEF varies between the macronutrients; protein is given a value of 20-25%, carbs 5% and fat 2-3% (ref). In a mixed diet, TEF is usually estimated to 10% of the calorie intake."
Consume whatever foods you prefer, whenever you prefer to consume them, while ensuring nutrient sufficiency and meeting caloric goals.

Joined: Jan 14
Posts: 47

Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 14:42
So reducing carbs is a really good thing (which I knew) but increasing fats may be needed in addition to increasing protein?

I am struggling with carbs and think part of it might be the fruit I eat on a regular basis (which is 0 points for the most part on WW but I know it is to be taken in moderation regardless). I've also been wary of increasing fats because of the points and my cholesterol battle. But I do deal with hunger that only seems to be curbed by more carbs, and I want to break that cycle.

I've successfuly lost 60 pounds on WW and have 40 more to go. Need more ideas to kickstart.
My journey started May 15, 2013 at 260 pounds with Weight Watchers. I'm continuing with this wonderful lifestyle plan and support program, and am now adding Fat Secret calorie tracking to what I am already doing. I can now use both in reaching my goal weight and then to ensure I don't return to the unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits I'm working so hard to discard permanently.

One day at a time, one pound at a time. I am CAPABLE and CAN DO IT !!!

My ticker is not always consistent with my actual weight...

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 7

Posted: 11 Feb 2014, 15:57
Ingria wrote:
Eddie255 wrote:
This is just one of the reasons I made a lifestyle change onto the Paleo Diet (which is really a lifestyle and not a diet) last summer. I've never been happier with food.

The problem with "lifestyle" approach is that you can happily gain weight on Paleo, Atkins, gluten free, Vegetarian or whatever healthy life style you choose if you burn even as little as 50 calories per day less than you consume. Most people lose weight initially either because of novelty factor of a lifestyle diet that excludes certain food items or food groups or because they switched from really bad food choices. For some people that is enough to find the balance and stop gaining weight. For some it is not. All the extra weight that I am carrying and trying to lose was gained while eating healthy and in moderation and while being relatively physically active. Still for me that is not enough. Hence I am trying to combine both approaches. But glad that it worked for you.

Well, of course, but fats and protein are more satiating overall. What you named are lifestyles, you must cater them to your goals. No person is the same and there is no one size fits all plan. I chose Paleo as a lifestyle change, and I'm healthier. Paleo is merely choosing to eat a certain way. I, however, have a very high protein diet with a moderate to high amounts of fats, and carbs only from vegetables and fruits (in moderation). If I'm hungry, I eat, but I eat right. That's the difference.

The thing to take away from what I did, you don't need grains or beans (which I used to have as part of every one of my meals and I was still around 12% body fat then without working out) for carbs.

Joined: Oct 09
Posts: 676

Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 16:42
So there is a thermic effect - should it impact the choices we make for foods when we diet as erwin asks about above?

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 1,356

Posted: 12 Feb 2014, 19:21
liv001 wrote:
So there is a thermic effect - should it impact the choices we make for foods when we diet as erwin asks about above?

Eat what you want. Strive to get nutrient dense food. The TEF should not determine what you eat. Get enough fat and protein for proper body functions and to repair and maintain lean mass and fill the rest with what you'd like within your calorie goals.
Consume whatever foods you prefer, whenever you prefer to consume them, while ensuring nutrient sufficiency and meeting caloric goals.
Kris AZ

Joined: Feb 14
Posts: 78

Posted: 01 Apr 2014, 13:44
Yes Diablo, I agree. I am eating clean and I have to count my calories since I am a food addict. I don't know when I'm full. I'm so used to eating so much and so often.

There but for the Grace of God go I.

Don't stop believin'.... Hold on to that feelin'....

"Sweat is fat crying"

"Everytime you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it"

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 4

Posted: 03 Apr 2014, 10:39
There is science, that I've read at least, to back it up. If i recall (Google it to confirm), carbs are easier for our bodies to metabolize than proteins. Carbs AND Proteins are both worth 4 Calories each, but it takes the body longer to 'harness' the calories/energy from Proteins...hence why our bodies default to carbs as the first source of calories.

Sidenote: Burning protein is a sketchy thing, because when your body starts tapping it as a source of energy, it means that there is a carb deficit (not a bad thing necessarily) and its now either getting protein from what you've eaten recently, or your muscles - the latter of which you may not want depending on your fitness goals.

Joined: Mar 14
Posts: 4

Posted: 04 Apr 2014, 00:29
Its really a great information and i like this article. To know more diet ideas and nutrition information contact with me.

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You are very welcome. I'm glad you got the answer to your question.
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How many carbs do you need aday
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