Upping Protein Intake Promotes Fat Loss

By Susan K Wilkerson, RD LD & Donna Quirk, RD LD at Lexington Medical Center

Usually when we try to lose weight, we want all of the weight we lose to be fat not lean muscle. Unfortunately, we always lose some muscle in the process no matter how much we exercise. Some new research just published has shown that weight loss doesn’t have to mean muscle loss if you eat more protein!

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A new report appearing in the The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal challenges the long-held belief that significant muscle loss is unavoidable when losing weight through exercise and diet. In the report, scientists show that consuming twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein while adhering to a diet and exercise plan prevents the loss of muscle and promotes fat loss. Tripling the RDA of protein, however, failed to provide additional benefits.

“This study essentially confirms what body builders have shown us for a long time — a high protein diet helps prevent muscle loss when trying to lose fat,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.

Although eating a well balanced diet is still necessary for health and weight maintenance, upping one’s lean protein intake when dieting might be a useful tool in the short term. This does not give you the license to eat all the meat you want. The calories were controlled in the study as well as the fat calories to promote a 1-2 pound weight loss per week.

So what would a typical day look like? This day would provide about 1500 calories and 100 grams of protein.

Breakfast
Vegetarian Sausage patties (2)
Egg Substitute (4 oz)
Whole Wheat Toast (1)
Orange Sections

Lunch
Whole Grain Tortilla (1)
Turkey (4 oz)
Cheese (1 slice)
Salsa and Guacamole
Red Grapes

Snack
Fat free Greek Yogurt

Supper
Beef (3 oz) & Vegetable Stir-Fry over Brown Rice

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