Protein for Body Composition

Let’s take a break from the world-stage theatre in Israel and instead look at another article from Chris Shugart, the ‘Chief Content Officer’ at T-Nation.
This time Chris looked at a new “study” where they simply increased the intake of protein by a measly 21 grams for a group of overweight people.

To summarize the study, a group of “researchers” gathered up 200 people of overweight or obese men and women from all age groups, and divided them into two groups. Both groups followed a stupid 500-calorie deficit diet for 6 months.
One half of the group consumed a diet low in protein, only about 58 grams daily, while the other half (second group) consumed a diet “high” in protein, as in 21 grams more, or about 79 grams of protein per day.

Even if these people were sedentary and obese, those numbers are ridiculous and dangerously low considering that they did this for 6 months. However, according to the study, those in the second 79 grams group were actually consuming more protein than they were eating before the study, which is highly alarming.

Chris sums up the results with saying that; “the results were about what you’d expect: both groups lost roughly the same amount of weight, but the higher protein group retained more lean body mass and was more likely to keep the fluff off after the diet.

This should come as no surprise, as protein is ‘anabolic’ and required both for cellular repair (as in keeping muscle mass,) and for building enzymes and hormones (of which saturated fat and cholesterol is also needed.)

Also, I touched on the effects of ‘higher protein’ diets and body composition 8 years ago, back in 2015, in my article ‘High Protein Diets and Body Composition,’ which explains all this.

Now, the ‘surprising part,’ according to Shugart, was that the measly 21 grams had some unexpected effects on the “higher-protein dieters” – their diet quality improved over that of the other group. He summarized it as:

  • They ate more green veggies.
  • They ate less sugar.
  • They ate fewer refined grains.

The researchers were very excited about what they called “dietary patterns.” When most people diet, they drop their calories lower, but the quality of their overall diet suffers: less nutritional variety, not enough fiber, etc. They consume fewer micronutrients, often to the point of developing basic vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
A modest boost in protein, 21 grams in this study, fixed that problem. For some reason, the higher-protein eaters also improved their overall diet quality. With just a modest bump in protein, they made better choices.

First and foremost, eating more green veggies is NOT an improvement, that is toxic and idiotic. A small bump in protein intake will increase satiety, improve hormone levels, and possibly give you a little bit of a mental energy boost (and also a thermogenic effect.) That might be enough to give you an incentive to ‘clean up’ your diet, as to the best of your knowledge, which for 99% of the population is abysmal, hence the idiotic idea to increase vegetables. However, when you do ‘clean up’ your diet, you tend to be stricter and also cut out things you know is bad, such as sugar, junk food, and refined grains – because you do not want your “sacrifice” of dieting and eating repulsive vegetables to be in vain. If you have to “diet,” you want to have results, so you tend to do what you think is right and stick to it, at least for a while. And that is what happened in this study.

The first group was content with simply eating a bit less, that was the bar for them. The second group got a little boost from the extra protein, and that gave them the incentive to try a bit harder.
So, while Shugart missed the ball on that one, he then continued with describing what this study could mean for ‘normies.’

Based on common Google queries, regular folks have a hard time eating even a barely-adequate amount of protein. Even consuming 100 grams per day is daunting to them.

And you can guess what comes next. Yes, Shugart recommends a scoop a day of their own brand of protein powder. While there’s nothing wrong with an animal-based and minimally processed protein powder without any additives, it would be much better to simply consume a few more bites of red meat, which also contains all the micronutrients you need. A protein powder only contains protein and some minerals, and the powders that ‘taste good’ also contains sweeteners, flavoring agents, anti-caking agents, and other toxic chemicals, and those should be avoided. Unfortunately, Shugart’s recommended powder contains both flavoring, sunflower oil powder (extremely toxic,) soy lecithin, cellulose gum, and sucralose. You’d be much better off with some extra meat or a glass of raw milk.

The best solution? Adapt our species-appropriate, species-specific diet of purely animal-based foods. Humans are obligate hyper carnivores, and the only way to be really healthy and flourish is to follow a carnivorous way of eating. And by doing so, you will undoubtedly get enough protein and also the right kind of fat to maximize your hormones.

Shugart then mentions another study, similar to those I mentioned in my 2015-article, where people who lift weights were put on a diet and those consuming only 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (0.45 grams per lbs.,) lost as much muscle mass as they did body fat, while the other group, consuming 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (1.1 grams per lbs.,) only lost body fat and no muscle mass.

To finish off his article, Shugart goes into ‘practical applications,’ where he correctly recommends people who lift and/or exercise to go above 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (1 gram per lbs.)
And again, he plugs their protein powder by recommending to replace 110 to 220 “calories” you’d normally spend on carbs and fats with equal protein calories, as in one or two scoops of their protein powder. Jeez!

Seriously, just consume more meat. Try to get close to a 1:1 gram ratio between animal protein and animal fats. However, going above 2.6 to 2.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (1.2 to 1.3 grams per lbs.) is most of the time unnecessary, especially for natural lifters that aren’t ‘juiced up.’ At that point, just increase the fats if needed to gain or maintain body weight.
And if you need to reduce your body fat and improve body composition, just eat normally and do a 24 to 36 hour fast once or twice a week, or a longer fast every 7 to 10 days. I covered that in these articles:

Fat Loss Made Simple – Forget About Calories and Cardio
Non-Linear Diet for ‘Lifters’ (What We Actually Did in the Past)
Review: The 90/90 Fasting Diet
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