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Lose Fat While Maintaining Muscle with A High-Protein Diet

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Maurice Boscorelli

Senior Member
Joined May 30, 2010
Messages 19,337
Lose fat and maintain muscle with a high-protein diet that provides a large dose of amino acids at every meal. It is well known that humans lose muscle along with fat when they go on a diet that creates a negative energy balance. However, it is possible that by eating enough protein at every meal, a loss of muscle mass can be avoided, while still producing significant fat loss.

A new study in Obesity Journal showed that the reason people on energy-restricted diets lose muscle along with fat is due to an increased rate of muscle protein breakdown rather than a slower rate of muscle protein building. Researchers had overweight adults go on a weight loss diet for a year that provided 1.0 g/kg of body weight of protein a day and an energy deficit of 500 calories. Participants lost 7 percent of their body weight (about 3 kg of lean mass and 5 kg of fat) by three months. After a year, they lost 10 percent of their body weight (about 2 kg of fat mass and no more lean mass).

Protein synthesis rates did not slow at any point during the study. Plus, after eating a meal, protein synthesis was actually enhanced over baseline. This was surprising because studies of animals that are put on similar diets have shown that muscle is lost during energy restriction due to depressed rates of protein synthesis. A lack of calories in the long-term means the anabolic response to feeding is blunted. However, in humans, it appears the anabolic response to eating is maintained. Muscle loss must come from increased rates of protein breakdown, probably in between meals.

A solution is to ensure you get regular doses of protein at every meal and snack in order to continually trigger protein synthesis and avoid muscle loss. A recent review of how various protein doses affect body composition found that eating at least 2.38 g/kg/body weight or protein a day may be necessary to avoid lean tissue loss. High-quality solid protein from food rather than liquid protein appears to be the most effective for avoiding muscle loss. For example, a study found that eatingmoderately-sized high-protein meals of 4 ounces of meat during the day is more effective at elevating protein synthesis rates than eating one large high-protein meal (12 ounces of meat once a day).

In addition, if you want to limit the total amount of energy you eat, it is necessary to get the most amino acids out of the food you do eat. High-quality protein from animal sources is your best choice. Still, supplemental protein can help you achieve that large daily dose of protein, especially for snacks. Studies suggest whey protein is the superior source for building muscle.

In addition, one amino acid in particular, leucine, is necessary to achievepeak protein synthesis levels in the body. In the ObesityJournal study, a reduction in leucine in the body appeared to be proportional to the loss of lean mass.

The good news is that meat, especially beef and chicken, contain large quantities of leucine, as does whey protein. Get extra leucine by taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before and after your workouts for best body composition results. For older trainees over 40, research suggests leucine is more important than for younger folks because there is a critical pathway for muscle building that won’t be activated unless large concentrations of leucine are present.

References
Bosse, J., Dixon, B. Dietary Protein To Maximize Resistance Training: A Review and Examination of Protein Spread and Change Theories. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

Villareal, D., Smith, G., et al. Effect of Weight Loss on the Rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis During Fasted and Fed Conditions in Obese Older Adults. Obesity Journal. 2012. 20(9), 1780-1786



The author makes a good point about the importance of eating a lot of protein with in a caloric reduced state.

But one has onfer what the long term implications of that would be.
 

Coke

Reviewer
Joined Jan 4, 2012
Messages 495
I do wonder about that.


The author makes a good point about the importance of eating a lot of protein with in a caloric reduced state.

But one has onfer what the long term implications of that would be.
 

Blank_Dave

Reviewer
Joined Jan 6, 2010
Messages 1,781
2.38g per kg of body weight? I'm curious if that would be current weight, desired weight, or for guesstimated lean body weight... For example, if it was the first I'd need to consume about 190, where as the latter would be more like 140g, which is quite the difference. Right now, I figure I'm eating maybe 150g or so....

Cripes how do I pad that out more? lol Chicken breast or tin of fish for break fast and again for lunch (in a salad), a full tub of greek yogurt (mixed with fruit and berries over three 'meals') and a protean shake....
 

Maurice Boscorelli

Senior Member
Joined May 30, 2010
Messages 19,337
2.38g per kg of body weight? I'm curious if that would be current weight, desired weight, or for guesstimated lean body weight... For example, if it was the first I'd need to consume about 190, where as the latter would be more like 140g, which is quite the difference. Right now, I figure I'm eating maybe 150g or so....
..

That would be current body weight.
 

Blank_Dave

Reviewer
Joined Jan 6, 2010
Messages 1,781
Ah crap... Must eat more protein... What, start mixing protein powder into my bloody yogurt now? lol
 

-b

BANNED
Joined Aug 27, 2011
Messages 8,830
I enjoy reading your posts.
You teach me a lot....
Thanks....
 

Maurice Boscorelli

Senior Member
Joined May 30, 2010
Messages 19,337
Blissful said:
I enjoy reading your posts.
You teach me a lot....
Thanks....

Thank you very much.

For persons afflicted with fibromyalgia from what I have read a proper diet can be paramount to your quality of life.
 

-b

BANNED
Joined Aug 27, 2011
Messages 8,830
Maurice Boscorelli said:
Thank you very much.

For persons afflicted with fibromyalgia from what I have read a proper diet can be paramount to your quality of life.

Yes, but I have an issue with sugar.......I need to go cold turkey......
The exercises, first thing in the morning helps but this week I am having
issues with pain......The weather is not helping.....
But I do agree about the protein.....I do the spinning and weights...
but with the pain, I have not been to the gym since Tuesday.....
Sorry for going on ......
 

Blank_Dave

Reviewer
Joined Jan 6, 2010
Messages 1,781
Maurice Boscorelli said:
Why not? Makes sense too me.

Good grief, that would nearly be 40g of protien per 'meal'.

Maybe a shake as soon as I'm out of bed, and just before bed....
 

HoneyBee

Well-known member
Joined May 27, 2012
Messages 595
The author makes a good point about the importance of eating a lot of protein with in a caloric reduced state.

But one has onfer what the long term implications of that would be.

The long term implications of a high protein diet is that after a while you start craving carbs so bad that you resort to reverting to your old eating habbits, or at least that's what happened with me. Being raised on a meat and potato diet over the years I gained a bit of weight. At the turn of 40 I got gallstones and severe gallbladder attacks but refused to have my gallbladder removed, so I researched and found out that the problem were the carbs as well as lactose intolerance. I went on an 'elimination diet' to find out what was making me sick. Learned to abstain from 'everything white' and processed food. I ate only proteins, vegies and fruits and nuts. Lost 80 lbs in less than a year.

Overall I remained pretty fit and my muscle tone was good. Problem with me, as soon as I started eating 'white food' again I gained some of the weight back. If you stick to the high protein diet it's all good and you'll be healthier. Another thing is to drink apple cider vinegar (gross I know), it helps break down the fat, as well go glutten and wheat free.
 
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