“Does protein make you fat?” is a great question and the answer is yes and no. No I’m not undecided, but check out the info below. School’s in session kids.
1.) The body can only digest 30 grams of protein in one sitting.
False. The body can digest more than 30 grams in one sitting. Although I don’t recommend eating all of the protein of your day in one sitting, you can eat more than 30 grams. I was told this myth when I first started going to the gym and it took a wise older bodybuilder to prove this wrong.
2.) Excess protein can’t be stored as fat.
I did a quick Google search before writing this article and some of the things people say just don’t make sense if you don’t pay attention and think logically. Sure, not all calories are created equal, but protein is digested and if you’ve eaten an excess amount of calories, the protein will be stored as fat. Carbs and fats are utilized in different ways and digested a little differently than protein but excess calories will be stored as fat.
3.) More protein = more muscle.
I agree that someone who is sedentary and works an office job doesn’t need as much protein as a strength athlete, there is a point where more protein won’t give you more gains. I haven’t looked at specific studies to show optimal protein intake to build the maximum amount of muscle, but .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean mass seems to be a general consensus.
4.) Chicken is the best protein.
Chicken is great to eat, lean, can taste great, and affordable. This sounds like the perfect storm for a “best protein” right? When digested, different protein sources have different amino acids, so eat a variety of different proteins. Of course there’s nothing wrong with eating mostly chicken, but add in some beef and whey too! Check below for a list of some great protein sources.
Then what makes you fat?
This article isn’t going to go over the scientific reasons why you get fat other than to make a point about protein. You get fat from eating more calories than you burn. 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat which means if you eat 3500 calories extra you will gain a pound of fat, or if you eat in a deficit of 3500 calories you will lose a pound of fat. So if you go by this rule of thumb, you could technically eat your BMR of calories in mostly protein and you won’t get fat.
Good Protein Sources
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch.
- Fish and Seafood
- Whey Protein
There are so many different types of each proteins such as beef steaks, ribs, ground beef, and more so broaden your horizons and cooking abilities and try some new things. This isn’t supposed to be rocket science so have fun and eat some tasty food.
“Does whey protein make me fat?” Another question I’ve received plenty of times to address here. In short, no. Whey protein is good for you, pretty easy to digest, and really per gram of protein it isn’t terrible on the budget. The caveat comes when you start supplementing protein shakes with an already “healthy” diet, meaning you’re starting to go into excess calories. Whey protein itself won’t make you fatter. There are some instances of bloating if you are lactose intolerant or have gluten issues, but whey doesn’t magically turn to fat.
Weight gainers are shakes that have massive amounts of calories per shake. They add in the extra calories by sugars, fats, and other fillers. These are great for someone who has trouble eating enough calories to gain weight and they are a relatively easy way to get a lot of calories. I’ve never used weight gainers but I’ve seen some boast 1000-1200 calories per 2 scoops which is a substantial amount.
So which is it? Will protein make me fat or not?
Protein will make you fat if…
- You eat too many calories
Protein won’t make you fat if…
- You don’t eat too many calories
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