weight loss

Does protein cause weight gain?

Written by hana

A popular theory about protein consumption is that it can help prevent and combat obesity by better controlling body weight. Protein breaks down more slowly than carbohydrates, so it can help you feel fuller for longer and keep you from feeling hungry between meals, leading to fewer snacks. However, some disagree about whether the proteins are safe and effective for long-term health.

A recent study found that a high-protein diet can lead to weight gain. People whose diet consists of more than 20% protein, especially animal protein, are more likely to get more than those who contain 10% protein. However, protein is an essential nutrient that helps maintain body weight, so it can be confusing to know how much protein to consume.

You may start to notice weight gain if you consume more protein than your body needs for muscle growth and repair. The nitrogen components of the additional protein are removed and enter the gluconeogenesis cycle. Here, your body cannot differentiate between the glycogen it produces and carbohydrates, so it starts storing more body fat.

Protein and weight gain: the connection

Simply put, consuming anything in excess can be harmful – protein consumption is no different. If you consume more protein than your body needs for a longer period, it can lead to adverse effects such as weight gain. Moreover, the way you consume protein also plays a role in managing your body weight.

Your daily protein requirements vary depending on your lifestyle, goals, body type, pregnancy, and any underlying diseases or conditions. For example, a highly active individual such as an athlete or athlete should not consume more than 2 grams per kilogram of protein depending on their body weight. At the same time, a healthy individual with a normal physical activity level should consume a protein of about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Anything more than this can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Scientifically, your body can convert and store any macronutrient into stored fat. Therefore, if you consume a lot of protein, depending on the ease of access to other forms of energy, your body may convert it into sugar and store it as fat.

While eating protein, you can end up eating protein-rich foods, which also contain calories. One of the most overlooked facts about protein is that protein-rich foods and supplements may also contain calories. Thus, consuming a lot of it and not burning it can lead to adverse effects. It’s no secret that consuming more calories than you burn will always lead to weight gain. However, the right advice from a fitness coach or nutritionist from HealthifyMe can help you better understand and categorize proteins.

Simple strategies such as reducing other macronutrients can help when increasing protein intake. However, excessive protein consumption over time has many other associated risks. For example, it can damage the kidneys or negatively affect the health of the heart and blood vessels.

HealthifyMe Note

Protein plays a vital role in maintaining your overall health. But consuming it in excess will eventually lead to weight gain over time. This is especially true if you exceed the recommended calorie intake. Therefore, you should be careful with your total calorie intake if your goal is to lose weight. However, if your goal is to gain weight, the most important thing is to increase your overall calorie intake while sticking to 20-30% of those calories from eating protein, along with carbohydrates and fats.

Avoid these common mistakes to prevent unhealthy protein-induced weight gain

The only way you can gain unhealthy weight due to protein consumption is by consuming it in excess or eating it with an unhealthy preparation method.

Some of the successful ways to prevent unhealthy weight gain are:

  • Make sure you don’t consume extra calories (than you can burn) through protein-rich foods.
  • Stay physically active by indulging in physical activities like running, exercise, etc.
  • Consult a nutritionist to understand your body’s protein requirements.
  • Be careful about the foods you choose to meet your daily protein requirements.

Protein sources that may contribute to weight gain

protein powder

This powder alone is not likely to contribute to weight gain, but how can you use it? Lack of a good exercise routine and excessive use of protein powder can lead to weight gain; You start to gain weight if you increase your protein intake without changing the other nutrients in your diet to balance the increased calories. Protein powder can be a nutritional addition for those trying to gain weight, but if you are trying to lose weight, you need to use it wisely.

Those who want to gain weight suffer from a lack of appetite. Protein shakes are a simple way to increase your protein intake without eating more whole foods. Depending on the brand and protein content, protein shakes vary. Therefore, consult a nutritionist to determine what is best for you. The experts at HealthifyMe will guide you to the best option for your health needs.

packaged yogurt

Store-bought yogurt often claims to be high in protein, but you shouldn’t consume it every day because it may contain added sugars and preservatives. In addition, they are unhealthy for you because they contain added flavors. Homemade yogurt is always the best option.


The protein, cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories in meat are all high. In addition, you are more likely to overeat because they do not contain fiber. However, lean chicken meat helps with muscle growth, and prevents unwanted weight gain.

processed cheese

Cheese is a good source of protein, calcium and other essential elements. But it’s important to be aware of the cheese you’re eating. Avoid processed cheese if you want to prevent weight gain.

HealthifyMe expert opinion

Protein is a very complex nutrient that must be consumed with care and love.

According to its composition, the human body, from the hair, nails and skin, to the myriad of hormones, down to the cells of all organs, to those muscles that help us move, is the protein of the majority.

Therefore, with the above knowledge, it is essential to choose the right proteins and prepare them in a healthy way (eg grilling, blanching, roasting or steaming) to know how much and how often they are consumed to achieve the best health results.


A moderate diet is the best way to stay healthy and avoid gaining weight. Excessive protein intake is not likely to cause weight gain by itself. However, other aspects of your lifestyle and other foods you eat with protein can lead to weight gain. For example, you can gain weight if you consume more protein powder without adjusting your other servings to make up for the added calories. Also, you may gain weight if you get most of your protein from high-fat foods like cheese, flavored yogurt, and meat. So, talking to a qualified dietitian or nutritionist is essential to find out what’s best for your health.

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