For today’s episode, I want to throw one more research-based tool in your toolkit. This tool will help you minimize the effect of overeating. It’s not a pill and not a potion. It’s protein.

There is a great systematic review that was published a year ago that examined the effects of overfeeding people different macronutrients.

Quick aside: Systematic reviews are my favorite place to look for practical insights on a topic because they carefully collect, criticize and synthesize multiple research studies on a topic. They’re much more reliable for coming up with practical and useful insights than single studies.

And that is why I used the insights from this review to conduct a self-experiment plus an experiment with willing clients last year. This review is where my recommendation to overeat protein if you’re going to overeat anything, comes from.

Why? Tune in to find out more!

This show is brought to you by us, Beyond Macros, a nutrition coaching company that helps you make a sustainable transformation through realistic habit changes rather than restrictive dieting.

Make sure you are subscribed to the show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, if you enjoy the show, please leave a rating on iTunes, and if you want to get leaner, stronger, and perform better by learning how to count macros go to beyondmacros.com/worksheet

In This Episode:

[03:15] Reflecting on the past 3-weeks.
[04:21] What did you focus on over Thanksgiving that helped you stay on track?
[04:42] What were your top 1-2 struggles over Thanksgiving?
[05:10] If you encountered the same struggles or obstacles again, how might you better prepare yourself to deal with them?
[05:38] what will your main focus be to stay on track without stressing yourself out as we approach the new year?
[05:52] What obstacles can you anticipate might pop up based on your upcoming plans for travel or parties and events?
[06:42] One more research-based tool in your toolkit.

Read Full Transcript:

Read Full Transcript

Welcome back to the beyond macros podcast, we are the sustainable transformation nutrition coaches and our show will help you make your transformation that lasts with episodes about nutrition and the all important art of inner work.

We are just about at the halfway point between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, and now it’s time for all the december holidays to exert their pressure on the nutrition habits you’ve been working on all year.

Today’s episode will give you more tools to stay on track, and I will review some research to help you figure out how to minimize the impact of overeating.

And to give you even more tools to manage the holidays and start 2019 off on the right foot, we also updated our holiday nutrition resource pack which you can download at beyondmacros.com/58.

The resource pack includes our famous travel packing and snacking list which will help you whether you’re taking a relaxing holiday from work, or traveling long distances to see family. The resource pack also includes recipes so you can quickly and easily prepare a dish your family and friends will love, while also ensuring you have an option for yourself. There’s a list of no equipment and kettlebell/dumbbell only workouts you can do anywhere. And more!

We also recently announced the launch of our Premium Online Coaching program which includes everything from our online coaching program- two one-on one calls, weekly check ins, office hours and more- plus adds in detailed monthly food journal reviews and feedback with a dedicated coach, personalized habit programming and nutrition tune ups based on your monthly check ins, and unlimited macro revisions as your goals and body change.

This program is designed to help you eventually take off the training wheels of calorie and macro tracking, and learn how to rely on a few keystone habits to maintain your progress for life.

For the next week you can use the code PODCAST10 at checkout for $10 off per month or PODCAST100 for $100 off the monthly plan. These offers expire December 14th and then prices go up- so head on over to beyondmacros.com/coaching today to take advantage of the discount. Once these discounts expire, we will not be offering a discounted membership again!

Before we get into today’s episode about how to minimize the impact of overeating, I want you to take some time to reflect on the past 3-weeks that have passed since we taught you how to navigate your nutrition during the holidays in episode 55.

By anticipating any obstacles you’ll run into between now and the New Year, you’re much more likely to see success and start the year out on the right foot. The best way to anticipate upcoming obstacles is to reflect on the obstacles you encountered around Thanksgiving- or for any of you outside the US- reflect on the obstacles you encountered last December during the holidays.

If you’re driving, use your mind’s reflective eye for the following prompts. If you’re at home or at the gym, hit pause, grab a journal or piece of paper, and lets do the reflective work now. It’s a short episode, so you have the time!

First question, what did you focus on over Thanksgiving that helped you stay on track?

Second question I want you to reflect on is, what were your top 1-2 struggles over thanksgiving? Or if you’re outside the US, what were your top 1-2 struggles at the end of the year?

Third question is, if you encountered the same struggles or obstacles again, how might you better prepare yourself to deal with them?

[Give time to pause in between each question for about 10-15 seconds, but perhaps play a ‘white noise’ or nice ocean sound to signal that the episode didn’t stop. I’ve broken out of guided meditations because they paused in silence for so long I thought the track stopped playin!]

Now that you’ve taken the time to reflect, it’s time to project.

Based on your big wins over Thanksgiving, what will your main focus be to stay on track without stressing yourself out as we approach the new year?

What obstacles can you anticipate might pop up based on your upcoming plans for travel or parties and events?

How can you overcome, or minimize the effect of the obstacles you anticipate?

[Give time to pause in between each question for about 10-15 seconds]

Solid. Way to do. The. work. Just by anticipating any obstacles you might run up against and thinking through some possible solutions you are far more likely to enjoy the next 4 weeks, feel less stressed out when an unexpected obstacle does pop up, and start 2019 off on the right foot.

Now for today’s episode. I want to throw one more research-based tool in your toolkit. This tool will help you minimize the effect of overeating.

It’s not a pill, and not a potion. It’s protein.

There is a great systematic review that was published a year ago that examined the effects of overfeeding people different macronutrients.

Quick aside: Systematic reviews are my favorite place to look for practical insights on a topic because they carefully collect, criticize and synthesize multiple research studies on a topic. They’re much more reliable for coming up with practical and useful insights than single studies.

And that is why I used the insights from this review to conduct a self experiment plus an experiment with willing clients last year. This review is where my recommendation to overeat protein, if you’re going to overeat anything, comes from.

Why?

Because it appears that in some studies, overfeeding people who lift up to 800 calories of protein above maintenance level of energy intake leads to NO increase in fat mass over the course of 8-weeks.

One of the studies in the review overfed people following a lifting program 380 calories per day, and their protein intake was over 1.5g their body weight in pounds and they lost significantly more fat than people eating their normal maintenance diet AND put on more fat free mass- which does not necessarily mean muscle.

Another study looked at resistance trained females, which I was excited about because if you’ve listened to any of our other research review podcasts, female lifters are usually a blind spot in the research.

It turns out if you feed women who lift a high protein diet at just over 1g per pound of bodyweight resulting in 400 calories more than needed to maintain weight they will gain significantly more fat free mass than female lifters eating 1/2g of protein per pound of bodyweight at a maintenance level of calories.

That seems obvious, high protein should mean more muscle mass, low protein, no gains. The interesting thing is that both groups lost the same amount of fat during the trial period despite what should technically have been a 400 calories surplus in the high protein group.

So does this mean everyone should go out and start funneling protein shakes? Not necessarily. You don’t need to overfeed protein for good results. You just need to eat enough protein. The review suggested a threshold of 1.2g per pound of bodyweight or more.

In sedentary populations, overfeeding of any kind led to undesirable body composition and health outcomes. But even in studies of people who are completely sedentary, overfeeding with a higher ratio of protein at least led to less undesirable body composition changes than if they were overfed with a lower ratio of protein.

Ultimately, if you’re going to overeat anything, it should be protein. And that is a strategy you can use if you know you have a big day of eating coming up- or as a way to minimize the effect of binge eating that might occur.

Quick side note, I used to struggle with binge eating, but I can guarantee that a chicken breast or other lean protein source is a surefire way to shut down that pattern. This tactic is a band aid, and you should definitely seek some assistance from a professional if you haven’t been able to form a healthy relationship with food on your own.

To make this protein overfeeding strategy relevant now- here’s what you can do. Eat what you want at dinner parties and family dinners for your first plate. If you still feel like you need more food, keep it to lean protein and whole foods like vegetables.

Here’s another overfeeding study example to support the whole foods recommendation.

25 normal-weight men and women were given either a bag of candy or a bag of peanuts that would add 20 kcal/kg/day to their regular diet for two weeks. This led to an average daily energy intake 46% greater than normal.

And guess what? Only the candy group added a significant amount of fat. The peanut eaters saw a small increase in weight due to fat-free mass but their fat mass was unchanged statistically speaking.

Why might this be?

Probably because whole plant foods have less usable energy. The peanuts had more fiber and more protein than the processed candy which probably had a significant amount more energy that the body could use and store.

Are peanut sauce brussel sprouts sounding like a good option to you right now? Because we have a recipe for them in our holiday nutrition resource pack at beyondmacros.com/58. Make sure to download that and feel free to go ham on those suckers with minimal consequence.

But hold up, before we go any further I think you might be wondering: is overeating protein safe?

Study after study has come out showing that high protein intake does not have adverse effects on kidney health, bone health, or metabolic health. I’d say a few protein gorging sessions are safe as long as you don’t swallow a bone.

In case you’re thinking that because overfeeding protein is good, you can just go full carnivore and slam a heap of In n’ Out flying dutchman burgers. For those who have never been to california that’s a burger patty with cheese on it. Nothing else.

But you’d be wrong to do this.

Turns out overfeeding fats has more negative body composition consequences and organ fat deposits than overfeeding carbs or protein. Most minced meats and especially cheese has more calories from fat than protein!

There also seems to be a difference between overfeeding different types of fat. It appears overfeeding saturated fats leads both to worse body composition outcomes and worse health outcomes than overfeeding unsaturated fats.

Additionally, most of the protein overfeeding studies that were done on lifters mostly overfed via whey protein shakes.

Based on this additional information- your best bet for protein overfeeding would be with lean and whole food proteins.

For vegetarians, legumes and pulses like lentils or seeds like sesame and chia are your best bet due to their higher protein and fiber content and lower saturated fat. For omnivores, you can also add cold water fish and lean meat to your list of whole food proteins it’s OK to overeat.

And we could all use a little bit more vegetables in our lives. It’s hard to overeat them!

Did you find this episode helpful? Do you like when I do research reviews or are you more into the story-based shows with an inner work angle?

I’d love to hear from you, and that’s why I created the Beyond Macros online community. It’s a place where you can discuss your top challenges, the habits you’re forming, share recipe and meal ideas, and most importantly discuss the show each week.

It’s a free group, but it is invite-only to keep the quality of interactions high. The fact that you’re a listener qualifies you for an invite. So if you haven’t received one just send a message to [email protected] and we’ll get you set up.

And as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, if you’re looking for a coaches support to help you create a transformation that lasts without having to rely on MyFitnessPal and macro counting for the rest of your life- you should consider joining the Beyond Macros Premium Online coaching program ASAP. The $10 off per month code BMPREMIUM is only good until December 14th, so get on it!

So if you enjoyed this episode, hit the share button on your podcast player. It looks like a box with an arrow pointing out of it. Send it right to someone you think will benefit. Can’t think of someone in particular? Snap a screenshot of your podcast player and tag us in your instagram story and I’ll shout you out! I LOVE hearing from listeners.

Last shout out here goes to the Alex Leaf and Jose Antonio for putting out a very insightful and entertaining systematic review that was the basis of this episode. If you want to nerd out, check the show notes at beyondmacros.com/58 for a link to the full text of this very approachable research paper.

Thanks for listening, and I look forward to seeing you again next week.

Much love Beyond Macronians!

Resources Mentioned

The Effects of Overfeeding on Body Composition: The Role of Macronutrient Composition

Worksheet

Subscribe, Review and Share

If you enjoyed this episode of Beyond Macros podcast, I would love your support. Head over to the show on iTunes or in the Apple podcast app and give us a rating, please! And as always you can catch every episode on the Apple podcast app, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for tuning in.

You can download you calorie & macro calculator worksheet here:

Download your calorie and macros for crossfit guide