High protein, low efficiency

Weight-loss diets high in protein can have detrimental effect on your metabolism

Being overweight or obese puts you at a high risk for type 2 diabetes because it reduces your insulin sensitivity – the ability of your body to react to the hormone insulin, essential for energy metabolism. Weight loss usually means improved insulin sensitivity – a win-win. However, in a study of obese postmenopausal women, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that using high-protein diets for weight loss doesn’t improve insulin sensitivity at all!

In this study, women on high-protein diets lost weight but didn’t experience any insulin sensitivity improvements so their diabetes risk remained high. On the other hand, women whose diets were lower in protein lost weight and their insulin sensitivity significantly improved – by 25-30 per cent. That not only reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes but also of heart disease.

High-protein diets only ever produce short term ‘superficial’ results, whilst healthier, plant-based diets have positive and significant long-term effect on your health.


Smith GI et al., 2016. High-Protein Intake during Weight Loss Therapy Eliminates the Weight-Loss-Induced Improvement in Insulin Action in Obese Postmenopausal Women. Cell Reports. 17(3): 849-861.