Is the New “High-protein Low-saturated Fat” Diet the Answer to Weight Loss?

The heated debate, within Diet circles, that began a few years ago and continues today is over the effectiveness of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate, type diet versus its counterpart, the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

To the delight of the Atkins diet enthusiasts, recent studies have suggested that a diet high in protein and low in fat has a greater effect on diet induced thermogenesis (calorie burning) than a high carbohydrate low fat diet.

Before we go further we need to familiarize you with a few terms we will be discussing in this article. Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the total energy your body burns in a day. TDEE consists of 3 components: diet induced thermogenesis (DIT), basal metabolism, and physical activity.

DIT is the increase in the body’s temperature that is caused by the digestion and absorption of a meal. This rise in temperature results in calorie burning. Yes, we actually burn calories simply by eating and scientists have long believed that DIT may be a factor, in reducing obesity; and that obese people may have defective DITs – although this hasn’t been proven yet. Once scientists identify the link between DIT and obesity on a molecular level, it could essentially pave the way for the development of drugs in the treatment of obesity. That’s still however, in the future.

In a recent study at the University of Arizona, published by the American College of nutrition, a group of young healthy women were given 2 sets of diets. (1) One diet was high in protein and low in fat and the other was high in carbohydrate and low in fat. Scientists were trying to compare the thermic effect (DIT) of protein versus carbohydrate during the digestion and absorption of meals. Keep in mind, as the body’s temperature increases (by DIT), so does the number of burned calories.

Evidence from this study showed that postprandial (following a meal) thermogenesis increased 100% more with the high-protein low-fat diet versus the high-carb low-fat diet. Although protein had a greater effect on DIT, the study did not evaluate weight loss or the long term effects of this type of diet. The results did suggest that this type of diet may have a positive effect on weight loss.

Scientists concluded that a diet high in protein, moderate in carbohydrate and low in fat contents may promote a higher rate of weight loss compared to the high carbohydrate, low fat diet. On the other hand, they also warn that high protein diets may affect kidney function in those that have kidney conditions, but not in healthy individuals.

Furthermore, they recommend daily protein intake should not exceed 2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. The American daily average is 1 gram per 1 kilogram. Further studies are required to assess the long term effects of high protein, low fat dieting.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that DIT or the thermic effect of a meal only represents 3-10% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). So we must keep things in perspective. Basal or resting metabolism accounts for up to 70% of TDEE and energy expenditure from exercise is responsible for the rest. Logic dictates, therefore that these two take precedence over DIT.

The other big influencing factor in weight loss is the reduction of daily food intake. Let’s look at the input/output equation: x (Input) – y (Output) = z. Daily output and total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) are the same thing. If you ate fewer calories (x) than your body burned (y), z would have a negative value. If you consumed more calories than your body expended, z would be positive. A negative balance in the equation results in weight loss, a positive value causes weight gain. It’s that simple.

In the above study, the high protein low fat type diet involves 2 factors of Input: Food composition and food quantity. In this diet, food composition (food selection) consists of a certain combination of macronutrients (high protein, low fat). Food intake (Input) affects the DIT which causes a certain increase (energy expenditure) on the Output part of the equation. And, as food composition varies so does the DIT. Food composition, though, can only have a limited effect on DIT. Remember DIT only represents 3-10% of the TDEE (Output). And food composition (high-protein, low-fat), accounts for a percentage of DIT, which represents even a smaller value. Food quantity, on the other hand, can have a tremendous effect on the equation – as it increases, the balance becomes more positive. If it surpasses TDEE then you gain weight – quite independently of DIT.

As a result, there can be a downside with respect to DIT involving the high-protein low-fat diet or any diet for that matter. With this diet, as protein intake increases so does the DIT. The problem is, however, that the food quantity (Input) also increases. The point here is that there is a limit to the amount of protein you can ingest before your body starts storing it as fat. Because DIT doesn’t account for expending a lot of calories (3-10% of TDEE), and food composition (high-protein, low-fat) accounts for a percentage of DIT, there’s only so much protein you can ingest before you start getting a surplus of calories. And excess dietary protein just as excess carbohydrate or fat is stored as fat in the body’s adipose tissue. The only other factor that can compensate for the excess of protein intake is an increase in exercise participation. Although, that would defeat the purpose for obvious reasons.

Physical activity, however, can have a large effect on the Output part on TDEE (Output). Not only does it account for a much larger energy expenditure than DIT, countless of studies have shown that regular physical activity actually increases basal metabolism, which accounts for up to 70% of TDEE. As a result, regular exercise participation essentially has a compounding effect on the calorie burning process.

As we can see then, the bulk of weight loss and weight gain comes down to the quantity of calories ingested (Input) and calories burned (output). Furthermore, exercise and metabolism are responsible for approximately 90%-97% of TDEE. Energy expenditure from DIT is almost insignificant in comparison. DIT is just not effective enough to produce a negative caloric balance independently of total caloric intake, energy expenditure from exercise and basal metabolism – especially for most overweight individuals. And it would be unrealistic for overweight or obese people to rely exclusively on DIT to lose weight. These people are either overeating, aren’t active enough or have low basal metabolic rates – or a combination of all three factors.

So, it still looks like there’s no easy way out – you actually have to work, if you you’re going to lose weight. The easiest way to achieve that is with the efficient use of all Input and Output components. That also means you must know your priorities. Most of your efforts should be spent in finding an adequate balance between a reduction of total daily caloric intake and a sufficient level of physical activity. And emphasis on DIT should take on a secondary role.

But wait, before you put on your running shoes and begin another diet plan, you might want to hear some very interesting news. There are certain cultures around the world whose diets contain just as much fat and carbohydrate (if not more) as in the American diet. Yet they are slimmer, and have much fewer occurrences of heart disease and cancer than their American counterparts.

Recent studies have shown that people in certain Mediterranean regions and in France manage to stay healthier and are less obese than those in other western countries. Let’s look at the French first.

In a study by Adam Drewnowski of the University of Michigan, scientists examined the eating habits of 1,637 men and 1,576 women in America and compared them to those of 5,000 French adults. They studied their overall diets based on diversity (foods from 5 major food groups), variety (total number of foods consumed daily) and moderation (according to USDA dietary guidelines). (2)

The results were quite surprising. They found that the French ate more foods that were higher in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than their American counterparts. The study also showed that the French diet complied with very few of the USDA dietary recommendations for eating healthy. In addition, the findings showed that 99% of French women’s diets had saturated fat contents in excess of 10% of total daily calories. What’s shocking is that, on average, the French are thinner and have fewer occurrences of heart disease than Americans.

The possible harmful effects of the high fat content in the French diet, however, were offset by diet diversity and variety. Drewnowski pointed out that “the low fat approach is very good but not if it comes at the expense of dietary variety.”

The USDA recommends that diets should consist of a variety of foods. According to the American part of the study, just one in ten men and one in sixteen women consumed food from all five food groups (Meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and grains). The other thing is that the French have more active lifestyles than Americans do. Americans typically drive more, walk less and participate in more sedentary type of leisure activities.

Similarly, a Mediterranean diet study also showed that the diet was high in fat, more diverse and had greater variety than the American diet. According to research, certain Mediterranean people, particularly from the Greek island of Crete, had fewer cases of heart disease and were thinner than Americans.

The difference in this study, however, was a crucial finding that suggested food variety and diversity created a certain dietary ratio. This was a ratio between 2 types of fatty acids present in the Mediterranean diet. These fatty acids are found in plant sources and fall into 2 groups: The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. You have probably heard of the multiple health benefits of these essential fatty acids many times before. They are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) because the body cannot produce them – they can only be obtained from food sources.

Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the diet, the omega-3 group has more significant therapeutic properties. Omega-3s contain powerful antioxidants that are known to fight against heart disease, lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, improve mood disorders to name a few.

The other benefit of omega-3s according to research is that they also have an amazing ability to control body fat. Omega-3s control the quantity of adipose (fat) tissue by regulating the amount of fat that goes into fat cells and the amount that is burned up for energy. (3, 4) Omega-3s have also been shown to increase fat oxidation in the body – the process by which fat is broken down and used as fuel for energy. (4) This further promotes a reduction in body weight that consists of fat mass.

According to scientists the key factor in diet composition is that the French diet and more so the Mediterranean diet consist of higher intakes of foods containing omega-3s than the American diet. In other words their diets contain a better (lower) omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than the American diet. And that’s the key. One of the main reasons Americans have lower intakes of omega-3s is because of their high intake of processed food. Food processing is largely responsible for removing a lot of the omega-3 content from food.

On the other hand the French and Mediterranean diets are more abundant in whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. And so their intake of omega-3s is considerably higher. In addition, the people of Crete eat 10 times more fish (rich source of omega-3s) than Americans do. Other important sources of omega-3s in the Mediterranean diet were: fish, purslane (wild plant high in omega-3 content), walnuts, figs and various other unrefined carbohydrates. By the way, the most abundant source of omega-3s is found right here in North America, and that’s flax seed oil.

As we can see, two different cultures manage to stay healthier and slimmer than North Americans while eating foods that contain high fat, carbohydrate and protein contents. The key differences are that their diets contain more unrefined foods; they consist of foods from all food groups and have more variety. As a result they have higher intakes of omega-3s (lower omega-6: omega-3 ratio) than other Western cultures. In addition, both these groups of people are more physically active than Americans.

Now, you can put on those sneakers and walk (or jog) to the supermarket for a new supply of fresh wholesome food.


1., “Postprandial Thermogenesis Is Increased 100% on a High-Protein, Low-Fat Diet versus a High-Carbohydrate, Low-Fat Diet in Healthy, Young Women, retrieved 10 June 2005 from

2., “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from

3. Parrish et al. “Dietary fish oils limit adipose tissue hypertrophy in rats.” Metabolism, Mar 1990, 39(3):217-9

4. Parrish et al. “Dietary fish oils modify adipocyte structure and function.” J Cell Physiology, Sep 1991, 148(3)

5. Baillie RA, et al. “Coordinate induction of peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase and UCP-3 by dietary fish oil: a mechanism for decreased body fat deposition.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids, May 1999, 60(5-6)

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Walking And Weight Loss

exercise, in any form, needs persistence and the right effort to be effective. Walking can be a very effective method of weight loss, provided the right effort is made, and it is coupled with an appropriate Diet.

For walking and weight loss to work you must expend more energy from your body than you?re putting into it. For instance, if you are losing 100 calories each day walking, but increase your intake of calories by 100 calories each day, there will be no effective weight loss. And on an average, it takes 3500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat from your body.

In order to succeed at walking and weight loss, set a reasonable target ? it is not recommended that one lose more than a few pounds a week. Examine your lifestyle and make modifications to your diet. Simple modifications can add up. Cut out excessive fat from your diet, and replace it with healthy foods. It is natural to feel hungry as you burn more calories everyday, but try and eat foods that don?t add on the pounds unnecessarily.

Set yourself a walking and weight loss goal, breaking it down calories, duration and speed. It is important not to exert yourself too much, or your whole effort will prove to be counter-productive. Starting with a moderate pace, increase it as the weeks go by and level it off by walking for about an hour each day. During this one hour of exercise, step up the intensity as you go along ? by covering more miles per hour, or adding weights to your body while walking, or walking uphill. The greater the intensity of your workout, the more calories you will burn. Similarly, a heavier body will burn more energy, so adding weights can greatly aid you in losing more weight.

Aside from exercise, another factor that will be instrumental in helping you lose weight is the right mental attitude. Without that, you?re most likely to abandon your walking and weight loss efforts mid-way, or grudgingly carry out your routine which is not really helpful. Each morning, remind yourself of the end goal ? what is it that you are trying to achieve and why. Tell yourself of the immense benefits of your daily walk ? a healthier body, a healthier mind, weight loss, more self-confidence and a much better sense of well-being.

Nordic Walking Weight Loss

Nordic Walking is fitness walking with the use of poles. Unlike trekking, it requires the poles to be placed at 45 degrees to the ground to give a more propulsive effect with the ground when pushing through the poles.

Ordinary walking is a great way to start being more active but to keep improving you will need to walk for longer or to go faster ? that’s where Nordic Walking comes in.

By using the poles you use more muscles which significantly increases the amount of calories burned without making you feel you are pushing yourself too hard. The poles actually help to propel you along so you could be working as hard as if you were jogging but will feel comfortable, not too breathless and there will be no strain on the knees and joints that can sometimes occur with more vigorous exercise.

Nordic Walking burns 20 – 50% more calories than normal walking at the same speed. In a recent article it was shown that Nordic walking can mean an increased exercise intensity of 67% than normal walking at the same speed! This article covers the reasons behind Nordic walking’s excellent weight loss properties allowing us to burn more calories without the increased effort.

This means that rather than burning around 300 calories per hour when normal walking you could have burnt 400 plus per hour by using Nordic walking poles! This exercise plus a good Diet will undoubtedly result in excellent weight loss.

I recommend that you should Nordic walk for 45 minutes to an hour 4-5 times a week. Because the exercise will be carried out at a low to moderate exercise intensity, more fat will be burnt as fuel than carbohydrate and you will not get the feelings of muscle soreness and fatigue. When you Nordic walk, the workload is spread out across the whole body meaning less stress is placed on the joints of the lower limbs and lower back. This also contributes to a reduction in muscle soreness or aches and pains.

?Advantages of Nordic walking include exercising outdoors, you can exercise alone or with friends and family, you can do it anywhere and you can enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty of the surroundings at the same time. You can enjoy Nordic walking whatever your age or fitness level.

The Magic of Walking and Weight Loss

Walking is one of the recommended exercises if you want to have a healthy hearty lifestyle. It is also one of the weight loss exercises that offer an option to boost the calorie deficit essential to bring on weight loss. Just merely walking can make you loss your weight because its goal is to reduce your fat deposition and preserves your lean muscle. It is very helpful in maintaining body functions as it uses energy everyday upon doing your exercise.

There’s no question in the effectiveness of walking as a form of exercise. What is better to ask is, how can we perform this type of exercise to make it more effective especially in losing weight or just simply,which is healthier; faster walking or deliberate walking. It is better if you do this exercise for about 30-60 minutes, resulting into more burn fats and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism. Aside from that, an hour a day will lessen the possibility of heart disease, breast cancer colon cancer diabetes and stroke. This is the magic of walking in your aim to loss weight.

Each form of walking has small advantage over the other this is according to their effect in your physiological function. When you do fast walking, it has good effect in your cardiovascular system. It helps in improving your heart condition and raises your suitability level. These changes in muscle tissue may not be that visible but has great effect in terms of calorie expenditure. As you do this type of walking, you’re using more muscle groups which cause more calories to provide these muscles, resulting to major calorie use overtime. When you do slow walking, it grips accelerations on and off that use energy. The advantage of this walking is that, it increases your body’s endurance.

Endurance is the ability to do all the tasks before you get tired. If you have high endurance, you’re able to do tasks longer. Slow walking also make muscles tone up as well and you don’t get exhausted hastily as your physiology gets used to supply energy and eliminate the lactic acid build up in your body. The more you walk, the more calories are burn. There are so many benefits that you can get when you do walking as a form of your weight loss exercise. It has a higher percentage of fat burned compare to other exercises. It increases your health and fitness, boosting your energy and decreasing the risk of acquiring diseases as mentioned above.

It is recommended that after walking, you expend another 5-7 minutes slowing down from the exercise. You do stretching and allow your muscles to cool slowly. Do not just stop abruptly. Remember, burning fat necessitates the body to work out at lesser levels of exertion and numerous other exercises don’t permit this fact.

Walking is said to the best exercise to help you control your weight aside from it keeps your body in good physical shape. You have to remember that when you do this exercise, the result is not instant. For you to have permanent weight loss, you have to do it consistently. You have to make sure that when you start off with an exercise; choose what will help you burn fat directly. The one that helps you to develop fitness levels leading to higher calorie burning that later on will result into speeding up of weight loss. This makes walking the best exercise.

Losing Weight With Power Walking

Are you aware of the benefits of power walking? If it is something that you are not familiar with, then you need to listen carefully. Power walking is one of the quickest ways to lose weight. It is the most natural form of exercise that people know. It involves using the entire body and that is why it is so effective in losing weight. Power walking is better for you than running because it is easy on the joints. To be quite honest, power walking is the best form of cardiovascular exercise that exists.

You are probably wondering how you can get in on power walking. Whether you are experienced or inexperienced, power walking is something that everyone should be doing. It does not matter what your age is, it can benefit you. Walking tones your entire body, from your legs, to your glutes, to your arms. Not to mention that it is a superb way to help get rid of the fat around your waistline. When you walk, you naturally add years to your life and health to your body. Power walking provides a mood lift and stimulates your entire body causing you to feel even more alive and live a better quality of life.

Here are some simple facts about power walking that everyone needs to know:

1. Always remember to walk correctly. The easiest way to do this is to land with the heel of the foot, roll through your step and bounce off with your toes. This will also to help you to quicken your step. With power walking, you will want to make sure that you are walking fast enough so that you can barely carry on a conversation. Be sure to breathe, and if it gets too uncomfortable, slow it down a bit.

2. Keep your head up when walking and lean forward slightly. By holding your head up correctly, you are setting the tone for the rest of your body. Leaning forward slightly will also help to take the pressure off of your lower back while walking. Focus on carrying out natural and focused movements.

3. Stay hydrated when walking. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walks. Not drinking enough water can cause cramps, which can slow you down and cause you to end up quitting too soon.

4. If you are still having trouble picking up your speed after a few weeks, then try to tighten your glute muscles as tight as you can. You would not believe how much pep this will add to your step.

5. Focus on finding your own individual walking style. Walk the way that is most comfortable for you. You know that you have found your correct walking style when your body feels relaxed and you feel no pain or injury afterwards. Everything will seem to flow naturally.

Power walks can do wonders for your body. Try to stay on top of your walking by doing it at least 5 times per week. If you are a beginner, you may want to focus on walking for 3 days a week. After a couple of weeks or a month, start by adding one extra day to your routines with each passing week until you have reached 5 days per week. You can choose to walk all 7 if you would like. Just make sure that you do not wear yourself out in the beginning. Persistence is what is going to make this work for you. If you do not do as well one day as you did before, do not be hard on yourself. As long as you stay committed, you will see the end results that you desire.

Walking To Lose Weight ? Can Walking Really Help You Lose Weight

Okay you want to lose weight and you know you will have to exercise if you really want to shed the pounds. But do you have to become a body builder or a triathlon athlete to lose the weight and keep it off? Well?relax, the answer is no. It might be as simple as walking to lose weight. Let’s find out?

You have probably seen people walking around the malls, on bike paths or at lunchtime. You may have asked yourself “can walking really help you to lose weight?” Guess what?it can!

The exercise to round out your weight loss plan may be as simple as walking a couple days each week. Walking is not only good for weight management but for your heart, cardiovascular system, joints and muscle tone. Here are a few benefits walking can bring to your weight loss goals.

1. Walking burns more calories than you may think.
Walking burns almost as many calories as jogging, yet it is much easier on your joints. Here are some examples. A 150-pound person walking moderately (2.5 mph) for 30 minutes will burn 107 calories. If the same person walks for 45 minutes, he/she would burn 160 calories. You can calculate how many calories you will burn by using a “calorie calculator” which can be found free online. You will need to know your walking speed, weight and amount of time you will be walking then it will calculate the number of calories burned for you.

If you are unsure about your walking speed, try walking on a treadmill with no incline for one mile to see how long it takes. If you do not have access to a treadmill measure off one mile in your neighborhood with your car, walk it and note the amount of time it took you. Once you know the amount of time it takes you to walk one mile, you can calculate your walking speed.

Now divide 60 by the number of minutes it took you to walk one mile. Hence, if it took you 15 minutes: 60 divided by 15 = 4 mph. If it took you 20 minutes: 60 divided by 20 = 3 mph. If it took you 30 minutes: 60 divided by 30 = 2 mph.

2. You can increase your metabolism by walking.
Not only does walking burn calories, but it increases your metabolism for up to 12 hours after you walk even as little as 2 miles. If your metabolism seems to be slow, here is your chance to up it just by taking a daily walk.

3. Appetite reduction.
Do you seem hungry all the time no matter how much you eat? Walking may be the answer you need. Aerobic type exercises like walking have a tendency to suppress the appetite. One of the last things you will want after a good brisk walk is a heavy meal. If you do feel hungry after your walk, try drinking water first. You may be more thirsty than hungry. If water does not work, then you may be walking too fast and not really in the fat-burning zone. In this case, slow your walking pace.

These are just a few tips to help you learn how walking to lose weight can be beneficial. Want to know more?read on.


Walking is an excellent approach to losing weight at a healthy pace, conferring benefits that range from reduced stress to reduced risk of heart disease and other health problems. However, many habitual walkers eventually see diminishing returns from their efforts and hit a plateau.

The following tips can help you maximize weight loss from your walking routine:

?Go faster: Whether you walk a mile or run a mile, you burn roughly the same number of calories, but picking up your pace on your daily walk can allow you to cover more distance in the same time, resulting in a higher number of calories burned and greater weight-loss results over time. You don?t need to ?speed walk,? but walking at a brisk pace is likely to pay much greater weight-loss dividends than a mere casual stroll. If you are in good shape, you might also want to consider running for intervals and then stopping to walk ? the start-and-stop effect mimics the kind of ?interval training? that elite athletes use to increase their conditioning.

?Walk first thing in the morning before breakfast: exercise before breakfast can allow your body to burn as many as 30% more calories with the same amount of exertion. Just make sure you don?t use the extra burned calories as an excuse to eat proportionally more food, or you are unlikely to see much benefit. Do not eat beforehand, but you should drink a tall glass of water in order to avoid becoming dehydrated.

?Take the high road: Walking uphill gives your calorie-burning an additional boost, and it also works different muscles than walking on a flat surface. You don?t have to find a mountain to climb ? even low-grade hills can be enough to kick your walking routine up a couple of gears.

?Swing your arms: Without looking silly, swinging your arms while walking at a vigorous pace can add an extra 10% or more to the total number of calories you burn, which can add up to quite a few extra lost pounds over time.

?Breathe deeply: In order to burn oxygen your body needs to draw on its deposits of fat for energy, and the more oxygen you introduce into your system through deep breathing while you walk, the greater the potential increase in weight loss. Deep breathing can also help relieve stress and increase your energy levels.

By following the five easy pointers above, you can significantly increase the amount of fat you burn just by walking around the neighborhood.