7

votes

High Fat or High Protein For Very Overweight Clients?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM

There seems to be conflicting ideas about how to approach weight loss if you are highly insulin resistant and overweight. PANU recommends 80% fat diet while Robb Wolf advocates 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight a day for overweight people. Can't do both. Does anyone have any experience with weight loss either with themselves or with very overweight clients? My gut tells me that 80% fat is the way to go, but that 1g of protein would work as well, since they would be eating ALL the time and wouldn't complain of hunger. Assuming I have a 200lb, 5'5" woman as a client, should I get her eating 80% fat or 1g of protein per pound of body weight (200g protein) first? Any opinions?

8e606dbf570848c4bc95f98e974a42ca

(312)

on March 16, 2010
at 05:11 PM

Thanks. Nice to be doing something that works and feels sound. Yes, Natural Calm has just been a fantastic addition in the supplement catagory. Couldn't be happier.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:58 PM

No, but I did when I slipped more carbs in. And drank more wine---sigh.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:05 PM

I was actually arguing for the high fat strategy, as opposed to the high protein strategy...guess I should have made that clearer :). My point is simply that I think having someone eat less nutritionally dense lean meats and rely on their fat stores will likely leave them undernourished and unsatisfied.

622a34307765c2f7c1dfdc7345842418

(25)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:04 PM

I was under the impression that, for weight loss, you want to target 1g protein per pound of target body weight, not current weight.

Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:04 PM

Are you sure Rob didn't say 1 g per lean body mass? I'm 5'6" and 150 lbs, and even when I'm training hard I don't think I could manage to eat 150g of protein ever day, and couldn't even imagine eating 200g, especially without the carbs to keep me hungry.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:26 PM

Hi Anna. Quick question.. did you gain weight when you added fat?

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:24 PM

Thanks, Steven! Awesome job on your weight loss! I take the same supplements for myself and recommend them to most of my clients. I especially love the Natural Calm.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:23 PM

My understanding of the 80% fat induction phase is that if you are very overweight and battling a more severe insulin resistance, then a high fat diet will help you regain your insulin sensitivity. While I agree that you don't want people to be lacking nutrients, I do think there is some benefit in fixing the BIG pieces of the puzzle first, and working down the ladder of problems after that.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:05 PM

Congrats about your weight loss, Steven! Good for you!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 15, 2010
at 08:08 PM

Way to go Steven!

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 15, 2010
at 08:08 PM

Right, 0.5 to pound of current body weight sounds reasonable: the 1g/pound is for *lean* body mass. When you're overweight, lean body mass and weight are two very different numbers.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 15, 2010
at 08:02 PM

Thanks, Glenn. Jessher, you might want to introduce exercises that are traditionally used at body weight, except actually make them less than that. This because they're often do not have muscle mass proportionally to their fat mass, which means someone at 120 kg (that should weigh 70 kg) doing pushups is, in fact, doing +50 kg pushups. Not very fun. Same goes for cardiovascular exercise: walks if possible, otherwise, don't. That's alright too. Basically, *anything* that activates the person's muscles is good -- be it seating & unseating a chair, even! As the weight comes off, scale things up.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on March 15, 2010
at 08:01 PM

Where is the 1g/lb. bodyweight recommendation from Robb? Any links? My impression (maybe mistaken) was that his 1g protein/lb. bodyweight recommendation is NOT for weight loss, but rather for muscle growth and mass gain.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 15, 2010
at 07:54 PM

That may depend on what physical condition she is in right now- some fat people are 'fitter'than others and can start on a higher rung.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 15, 2010
at 07:49 PM

Good answer, Mikael.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 07:44 PM

Oh, totally on the resistance training bandwagon! I am just starting a new boot camp program and I am just trying to figure out which way to approach the highly overweight client. Thanks for your input!

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13 Answers

7
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 16, 2010
at 03:25 PM

I have no good answer to this question. That's the problem! There are so many conflicting ideas within the low-carb and Paleo community regarding weight loss that I think there is no pat answer. It is extremely frustrating for those of us who are trying to lose weight. We hear one idea from a good Paleo source that conflicts another idea from a good Paleo source. Do we increase fat? Do we increase protein? Do we reduce or skip sat. fat? Do we do IF? Do we eat 3 meals a day? Does exercise matter? Do we practice interval training? And on and on it goes...

I think that everyone has to be treated individually to learn what is right for their metabolism. Sometimes it takes a while.

5
D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 15, 2010
at 07:31 PM

Protein should be fixed, 1g sounds reasonable. Then vary the fat amount based on the overweight (if any). I eat up to 300-400g of fat on an active day, on an inactive maybe just 100g. Make sure you get the essential fatty acids (omega-3 from fish, you get omega-6 in everything else), vitamins and minerals.

The obese person would use just as little fat as required for satiety, as that will make the body draw upon its stored energy reserves in the fat cells. Which is how they're supposed to be used. Basically, eat your protein sources but don't add (too much) fat on the side.

In order for the weight loss to be mostly fat, and avoid muscle loss (lest you want the "skinny fat look" you get when you have little muscle on your body), you will also want to incorporate a resistance training ("weight lifting") program. Which needn't take a lot of time at all, one to three times a week, max 30 min per time, focusing on compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench press, and such) gives you much in terms of results per invested time.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 15, 2010
at 07:49 PM

Good answer, Mikael.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 07:44 PM

Oh, totally on the resistance training bandwagon! I am just starting a new boot camp program and I am just trying to figure out which way to approach the highly overweight client. Thanks for your input!

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 15, 2010
at 08:02 PM

Thanks, Glenn. Jessher, you might want to introduce exercises that are traditionally used at body weight, except actually make them less than that. This because they're often do not have muscle mass proportionally to their fat mass, which means someone at 120 kg (that should weigh 70 kg) doing pushups is, in fact, doing +50 kg pushups. Not very fun. Same goes for cardiovascular exercise: walks if possible, otherwise, don't. That's alright too. Basically, *anything* that activates the person's muscles is good -- be it seating & unseating a chair, even! As the weight comes off, scale things up.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

When I lost about 60 pounds (starting at very obese) over just over a three month period I hadn't yet heard of the 'Paleo diet'.

I ate a low (+/- 20-30 per day) carbs, low fat diet with no alcohol at first, then one reward glass of red wine with dinner. I had two very bow-legged knees that were very painful so I only got light exercise at the time. I was pretty fit and muscular however, due to having had a very physical job for years.

The weight came off fairly steadily but as others on the diet began having problems with hair loss and skin problems I decided to add more fats to my daily intake. At that point I used butter, olive oil, whipping cream and bacon fat.

I had a garden too and I wasn't willing to miss the fresh raspberries that were ripening, so I added those.

I found a few of those lost pounds back over the next couple of years, and am working on a Paleo removal now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:58 PM

No, but I did when I slipped more carbs in. And drank more wine---sigh.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:26 PM

Hi Anna. Quick question.. did you gain weight when you added fat?

2
8e606dbf570848c4bc95f98e974a42ca

(312)

on March 16, 2010
at 03:16 PM

I thought I would add another answer so that this does not get lost into the edit. I have seen some stuff related to Robb Wolf's recommendation of 1g or protein per pound of body weight per pound of lean body mass.

He does mention going to 1g of protien per pound of body weight for obese indviduals in Eposide 9 of the PSS, go about 20mins in, for the following reasons:

1.) It is an appetite suppresant and it will keep people from eating stuff they should not be eating while they are trying to lean out.

2.) The thermic effect of the body metabolising protien (especially that much) versus fat or carbohydrates.

3.) Also that indviduals that are obese are probably carnitine deficient. Which will assist in the metabolism in of body fat.

I am not going this paticular route because of my specific goals and the ketoginc bent is working for me.

2
8e606dbf570848c4bc95f98e974a42ca

(312)

on March 15, 2010
at 08:02 PM

What I am currently working on now, yes I am overweight, I am looking at losing about 100lbs or so and have currently lost 46. I am working a paleo + ketogenic diet becuase I am also trying to eventually get off my migraine medications.

But my basic breakdown is 50g carbs per day or less from vegetables, no fruit at this point. I can introduce some fruit in extreme training period or when I am closer to my traget weight and see how it is tolerated. Moderate protein maybe .5g to pound of body weight and fat to satiety. Usually in the form of lite coconut milk, avacado etc. My understanding is that if you up the protien to high you body will just convert it into sugar. I also supplement with Vitamin D, fish oil and Natural Calm.

This seems to working for me. Not sure if that helps.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 15, 2010
at 08:08 PM

Way to go Steven!

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 15, 2010
at 08:08 PM

Right, 0.5 to pound of current body weight sounds reasonable: the 1g/pound is for *lean* body mass. When you're overweight, lean body mass and weight are two very different numbers.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:05 PM

Congrats about your weight loss, Steven! Good for you!

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:24 PM

Thanks, Steven! Awesome job on your weight loss! I take the same supplements for myself and recommend them to most of my clients. I especially love the Natural Calm.

8e606dbf570848c4bc95f98e974a42ca

(312)

on March 16, 2010
at 05:11 PM

Thanks. Nice to be doing something that works and feels sound. Yes, Natural Calm has just been a fantastic addition in the supplement catagory. Couldn't be happier.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on August 23, 2012
at 05:02 PM

The bulk of my weight loss occurred near these ratios: 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbohydrate. I felt my protein intake should be what was necessary for maintain muscle mass, so when I started my diet I was 285 but I eventually determined my actual protein requirement to be 150g. This was based on 1g per lb of actual muscle, and I now think it is probably not even necessary to go that high. I wanted maximum nutritional density because I was expecting to live at a calorically deficient state for the indeterminate future. It worked pretty well. I am about 170lb now.

I often went higher on the fat and into ketosis as well. If your clients do that, you actually may have to set the amount of calories you want them to eat each day- not to limit them, but to make sure they are actually getting enough. Sometimes the appetite turns off, and I would get really sluggish and not realize it was because I had not eaten enough. Food logs, or even just getting them to take pictures of their food from their phones may be enough to ascertain whether or not this is going on.

0
A913bf93cf3bb8351481414d1218c441

on August 23, 2012
at 02:43 PM

I'd say high fat + as much protein as they want. I tried to get to .5g/lb protein per day, and I couldn't do it. I might do it one day, but then not eat much protein the next couple days. Now I make sure I get at least 50g, probably average around 80. Lost 50 lbs so far, so I'd say it's working for me.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on August 23, 2012
at 02:42 AM

1 gram of LEAN protein per lb of desired body weight. Green vegetables only (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, celery, cucumber, lettuce). Weight workouts (3-4x/wk) and walking (daily) mandatory. High protein, low fat, low carb. Any carb other than green vegetables only consumed pre or post workout. Carb cycle- weight workout days up to 75g (non green) carbs. All other days up to 1C berries. Very low calories for the first 4-8 weeks to restore pancreatic function.

I am not a dietician but that's what I would do personally.

0
Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on March 15, 2010
at 08:25 PM

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Obese people shouldn't be eating diets that lack the nutritional benefits of a diet that "fit" people eat. Seems like a recipe for failure.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 15, 2010
at 09:23 PM

My understanding of the 80% fat induction phase is that if you are very overweight and battling a more severe insulin resistance, then a high fat diet will help you regain your insulin sensitivity. While I agree that you don't want people to be lacking nutrients, I do think there is some benefit in fixing the BIG pieces of the puzzle first, and working down the ladder of problems after that.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on March 15, 2010
at 10:05 PM

I was actually arguing for the high fat strategy, as opposed to the high protein strategy...guess I should have made that clearer :). My point is simply that I think having someone eat less nutritionally dense lean meats and rely on their fat stores will likely leave them undernourished and unsatisfied.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 23, 2012
at 07:37 AM

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