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Does Eating Protein Burn Fat?

author image Nina K.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by,, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.
Does Eating Protein Burn Fat?
Protein is not capable of burning fat. Photo Credit: gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Neither protein nor any other nutrient can burn fat -- only your body has this capability. You lose weight when you eat fewer calories than you need for energy, causing your body to burn stored fat to fuel your activities. Conversely, your body stores fat when you eat more calories than you consume, so eating excess protein may lead to weight gain.

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Protein and Weight

Although protein doesn't melt fat, your body does burn calories during digestion --you burn more calories digesting protein than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Protein also slows emptying of the stomach, helping you feel fuller longer. These factors may explain why some research shows high-protein diets to be more effective than high-carbohydrate diets in the short term, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. However, a two-year study published in "The New England Journal of Medicine" in 2012 showed no weight-loss advantage of high-protein diets over other reduced-calorie plans.

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