Blog – REDCON1
RedCon1 – Increasing Protein After a Deficit Part 3/3

Now, we see that increased protein intake will help curb your post-dieting appetite and can help dramatically with binging and going off your targeted intake for the day. This means you will be able to essentially eat more calories and not be hungry post-deficit. As amazing as that is, we will conclude with one more point (and my personal favorite point to touch on.) This final point is that the protein requirement for bodybuilders (that are TRULY training and dieting as hard and as optimally as possible) continues to increase. Despite a number of studies indicating increased dietary protein needs in bodybuilders with the use of the nitrogen balance technique, the Institute of Medicine (2005) has concluded, based in part on methodologic concerns, that “no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise. The aim of the study was to assess the dietary protein requirement of healthy young male bodybuilders ( with ≥3 y training experience) on a nontraining day by measuring the oxidation of ingested l-[1-13C]phenylalanine to 13CO2 in response to graded intakes of protein [indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO) technique]. Eight men (means ± SDs: age, 22.5 ± 1.7 y; weight, 83.9 ± 11.6 kg; 13.0% ± 6.3% body fat) were studied at rest on a nontraining day, on several occasions (4-8 times) each with protein intakes ranging from 0.1 to 3.5 g ⋅ kg-1 ⋅ d-1, for a total of 42 experiments. The diets provided energy at 1.5 times each individual’s measured resting energy expenditure and were isoenergetic across all treatments. Protein was fed as an amino acid mixture based on the protein pattern in egg, except for phenylalanine and tyrosine, which were maintained at constant amounts across all protein intakes. For 2 d before the study, all participants consumed 1.5 g protein ⋅ kg-1 ⋅ d-1 On the study day, the protein requirement was determined by identifying the breakpoint in the F13CO2 with graded amounts of dietary protein [mixed-effects change-point regression analysis of F13CO2 (labeled tracer oxidation in breath)]. The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of protein and the upper 95% CI RDA for these young male bodybuilders were 1.7 and 2.2 g ⋅ kg-1 ⋅ d-1, respectively. These IAAO data suggest that the protein EAR and recommended intake for male bodybuilders at rest on a nontraining day exceed the current recommendations of the Institute of Medicine by ∼2.6-fold (4.)

In summation, increasing protein after a deficit can help with an overall increased caloric intake, higher satiety levels, and higher overall anabolism and long term growth. This is merely one avenue you may need to implement post-deficit in order to optimize lean tissue growth and minimize fatty tissue accumulation over time. As I said, the purpose of this article is to open your eyes to possible options available to you after a prolonged dieting phase. I personally plan on increasing my protein intake first and foremost after my upcoming contest prep is over to set myself up for the most optimal growing period I possibly can.


  1. Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women. Carol S. Johnston, Carol S. Day, Pamela D. Swan. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 (
  2. Effects of variation in protein and carbohydrate intake on body mass and composition during energy restriction: a meta-regression. James W. Krieger, Harry S. Sitren, Michael J. Daniels, Bobbi Langkamp-Henken. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 (
  3. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Douglas Paddon-Jones, Eric Westman, Richard D. Mattes, Robert R. Wolfe, Arne Astrup, Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 (
  4. Indicator Amino Acid-Derived Estimate of Dietary Protein Requirement for Male Bodybuilders on a Nontraining Day Is Several-Fold Greater than the Current Recommended Dietary Allowance. Bandegan ACourtney-Martin GRafii MPencharz PBLemon PW. J Nutr. 2017. (
  5. Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. Wendy A. M. Blom, Anne Lluch, Annette Stafleu, Sophie Vinoy, Jens J. Holst, Gertjan Schaafsma, Henk F. J. Hendriks. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 (
  6. Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. Manuela P. G. M. Lejeune, Klaas R. Westerterp, Tanja C. M. Adam, Natalie D. Luscombe-Marsh, Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 (
  7. Higher protein intake preserves lean mass and satiety with weight loss in pre-obese and obese women. Heather J. Leidy, Nadine S. Carnell, Richard D. Mattes, Wayne W. Campbell. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007 (
  8. The satiating effect of dietary protein is unrelated to postprandial ghrelin secretion. Lisa J. Moran, Natalie D. Luscombe-Marsh, Manny Noakes, Gary A. Wittert, Jennifer B. Keogh, Peter M. Clifton. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 (
  9. Effects of Meals High in Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat on Ghrelin and Peptide YY Secretion in Prepubertal Children. Lomenick, J. P., Melguizo, M. S., Mitchell, S. L., Summar, M. L., & Anderson, J. W. (2009). The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (
  10. Ghrelin enhances appetite and increases food intake in humans. A. M. Wren, L. J. Seal, M. A. Cohen, A. E. Brynes, G. S. Frost, K. G. Murphy, W. S. Dhillo, M. A. Ghatei, S. R. Bloom. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 (