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Carbs protein and weight

Carbs, protein & their relationship with weight

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Does the pursuit of a healthy weight mean a lifetime of protein heavy foods with barely a carbohydrate in sight? We find out from weight loss coach Andrew Cate.

Protein has become a buzzword in health circles, and is generally thought of as a must-eat to prevent weight gain.

Sugars and refined grains, on the other hand, have become the dietary bad guys, known to trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin release that leads to fat storage.

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But what exactly is the link between protein, carbohydrates and weight?

A study the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined how different protein foods are interchanged with carbohydrates, and how these interactions relate to weight gain.

Using data from three long-term studies among 120,000 men and women, the researchers discovered changes in carbohydrate amount and quality, and some specific protein foods, were associated with long-term weight gain. Alternatively, other protein foods were associated with weight loss.

Carbohydrate quality was measured using glycaemic load (GL) and the glycaemic index (GI), both indicators of a foods impact on blood sugar levels. The researchers believe that attention to the types of protein and carbohydrate foods eaten is crucial for long-term weight maintenance.

Eat this, not that

The study highlights the fact that among the different types of protein and carbohydrate foods we choose to eat every day, there are better and worse choices.

While it is wise to avoid labelling foods as good or bad, there are certainly some foods you should try to eat more of, and some to eat less of if your goal is to lose weight (or prevent gaining it).


Eat this

Foods strongly associated with weight loss included plain or artificially sweetened yoghurt, seafood, skinless chicken, nuts, legumes and eggs.

Not this

Foods strongly associated with weight gain included hamburgers (both normal and lean varieties) hot dogs, pork, bacon, beef, lamb, chicken with skin, and regular cheese

The fat content of milk had minimal impact on weight change.


Eat this

Moderate your portion sizes of starchy carbohydrate foods, and choose the less processed, low GI varieties such as oats, wholegrain breads and water rich vegetables.

Not this

Diets with a higher GL or higher GI were associated with weight gain over time. Examples of foods and drinks high in refined carbohydrates and sugars include white breads, white rice, processed breakfast cereals, soft drinks and fruit juice.

Eating processed carbohydrate foods that course rapid rises in blood glucose levels may induce less fullness and larger activation of reward and craving areas of the brain, resulting in overconsumption and weight gain.

Carbs & protein together

When combined, high GI foods both reduced the weight reducing potential of healthy protein foods, and further increased the weight increasing potential of lesser quality proteins. For example, eating pork with white bread might further augment their impact on weight gain.

Focusing on the types and quality of protein and carbohydrate rich foods, and their combinations, may be just as important as total kilojoule intake for weight control

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In 2005 I received a diagnosis "Insulin Resistance". I had no idea what that implied. I was referred to a dietician who placed me on a 3 meals a day high carb diet with snacks. I put on 23 kilos in 2 years doing everything I was told including exercise. In 2014 I discovered the reason for Insulin Resistance. I began a low carb, medium protein and reasonable fat food intake and lost 26 kilos since. I have also gone from size 20plus to sixe 16. I'm 73 so I have no exercise except slow walking.

I have autoimmune medication plus a small BP medication. All other medications have been discontinued on medical advice. The fats I add to my meal every day equal in macros the total of protein and carbs, and come from avocado, olive and coconut products, butter or clarified butter, saturated fats and nuts in moderation, bacon, eggs and no carb cheese, cream.

When we first started this food lifestyle we had 3 meals a day and snacks. Now we have two meals a day plus one red wine and nibbles snacks or berries and cream. We replaced sugar with Xylitol and baking flour with coconut and almond flour. We are never hungry, rarely notice food in the shopping centres, or the smells.

So why are people so fearful of changing?

It took a lot of reading articles like the ones here, YouTube videos and encouragement. All our adult children are LCHF or low carb eaters now. And so are their children, except the preschool aged.

I hope this encourages someone to try a change in life style. Drop Sugar, Grains and Starches. Eat Fresh, non processed and natural.

Instead of cutting back on carbs from your diet just moderate your intake for your level of energy needed. Take a look at carb cycling, diet method where periods of low-carb, high protein and high fat intake are cycled with periods of high carb. This promote fat loss by tricking your body into burning fat for fuel instead of the sugar from the carbs it would normally get. Since late January I have been using this method , works well for me. Have already lost 16 pounds. I LOVE this way of eating. I can lose weight, have plenty of energy and feel good. Also, psychologically, since carb down only lasts a few days, I always know that carb up is coming soon.