> > Is the TNT Diet a High Protein Diet?

Two recent studies appeared on the Web and brought concern to some TNTers. Both studies in some way attempted to denigrate Low Carb diets, either by showing that they had deleterious impact on our health – or at least the health of Mice or that they were no more effective than any other type of diet . Both had a built-in Bias – they defined Low Carb as High Protein.

The first was from Harvard.

The second was out of Australia.

The basic question is simple: Is TNT’s version of Low Carb eating equivalent to High Protein eating as these studies believe?


Working under the assumption that you have an individual who weighs in at 180 pounds and is at the 20% mark for Body Fat, then Lean Body Mass would be 144 pounds. Under the One gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass guidelines, your goal would be to average about 145 grams of protein a day or approximately 580-600 calories of protein (150 grams). That assumes you are exercising otherwise it will be less.

Now assume that at 180 pounds your caloric requirements are approximately 2700 calories a day to maintain your weight, then 600/2700 = 22% of your caloric requirements from protein.

The Zone Diet proposes the following percentages 40% Carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. That would be 2700 x .30 or 810 calories /4 = 202.5 grams. This “balanced” diet is higher in protein than TNT and exceeds one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is why I have a problem with the concept of some arbitrary “balanced” percentages as a means of determining the amount of each food group to eat.

The Harvard Study said that:

  • Mouse Chow = 20% protein
  • Western Diet = 15% protein
  • Low Carb Diet = 45% protein – this would equate to 1,215 calories or 303.75 grams of Protein

They stated that:

“We had a diet specially made that would mimic a typical low-carb diet,” explained Foo. “In order to keep the calorie count the same in all three diets, we had to substitute a nutrient to replace the carbohydrates. We decided to substitute protein because that is what people typically do when they are on these diets.”

This is an assumption that undermines the generalization of the conclusions to the normal Low Carb diet and specifically to the TNT diet.

The Australian Study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2009,  said that:

  • The High Carb – Normal Protein Diet = 15% protein – but people actually ate at the 22% level.
  • Low Carb Diet – High Protein Diet = 30% protein

“People had the same success in keeping off the weight they’d lost after sharply cutting their calorie intake for 3 months if they followed a low-carb (also called high-protein) diet or a high-carbohydrate regimen for the following year …”

Again, the underlying  assumption in both studies is that Low Carb eating equates to a High Protein diet.  This is just not the fact with TNT.  TNT is just not a high protein diet. High Fat – yes but not high protein.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca Latham
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:50:43

    Hi, TNT Man!

    You said, “The Zone Diet proposes the following percentages 40% Carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. That would be 2700 x .30 or 810 calories /4 = 202.5 grams. This “balanced” diet is higher in protein than TNT and exceeds one gram of protein per pound of body weight.”

    But, if I remember correctly from doing The Zone, those percentages are correct, but they would have you eating way less than 2700 cals a day, wouldn’t they?

    I am a 5’3″ woman, and The Zone said I should eat only 1001 calories a day, including fat (33g), protein (75g) and carbs (100g). I’m curious how many calories they would say that you should eat.


    • TNT Man
      Dec 07, 2010 @ 17:29:11

      The example above was based upon my own weight. My weight is 180+/- pounds. I work out 6 days a week: 3 Weight Training and 3 Cardio/Body Weight. Each workout is at least 40 minutes. Depending upon the formulas you follow, my caloric intake to maintain my weight would be in the approximate range of 2200-2700 calories. I used the highest number – 2700 for the example.

      Based upon the information you presented – you should be eating closer to 1700 calories to maintain your weight. Eating at a 500 calorie deficit would be 1200. 1001 is very low for someone who is actually exercising.

      I suggest that you ignore all this and follow the TNT Plan A. Aim for learning to eat without counting calories. Learn what a proper portion size should be for YOU – not the 6’0 guy.

      TNT Man


  2. narb
    Mar 30, 2018 @ 06:56:09

    Struggling to find anywhere what the macro break down is of TNT (specifically the baseline Plan A) and how that compares to Keto’s 75f 20p 5c… Any thoughts?


    • TNT Man
      Apr 01, 2018 @ 21:21:44


      I backed into it based on the various recipes. For the most part – it comes out to VLCHF to Keto. I don’t believe he was really going for Keto – but Plan A is damn close.


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