High-Protein Intake Increases Energy Expenditure During Overfeeding

The body tries to maintain a constant weight in response to over or underfeeding by changing its metabolic rate. A remarkable study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana led by George Bray showed that energy expenditure in response to overfeeding was higher in people consuming a high-protein diet. Test subjects were overfed for 56 days by eating 40 percent more calories than normal. The increase in energy expenditure from overfeeding was related to the protein content of the diet but not to the excess calories. People gained weight consistently during the study and there was no evidence of an adaptation in metabolic rate.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101: 496-505, 2015

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