High Protein & Fat Loss
Posted on: 2013-10-31 21:10:12 Ft.
Is there an optimal amount of protein to consume when dieting? A recent study suggests – yes! Keep reading for more info.
In a 2013 study, 39 adults were split into three groups and put on a calorie-reduced diet for 3 weeks. (Note: Diets were based on the Harris-Benedict equation, which is explained how to use on our website.) One group consumed the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein, which is 0.36 g/lbs. per day. That’s about 64.8 grams of protein for a man who weighs 180 pounds. The second group consumed twice the RDA (0.72 g/lbs. per day), while the third group consumed three times the RDA (1.09 g/lbs. per day). All three groups followed a cardio- and weight-training program, but it was relatively mild.
The results showed that all three groups lost around the same amount of body weight, which was around seven pounds. (Not bad for 3 weeks.) However, the groups who consumed double and triple the RDA for protein lost more fat and less muscle mass!1
What’s interesting is that there wasn’t much of a difference in fat and muscle mass between the groups who ate two and three times more protein. That being said, it would be interesting to see if a more strenuous workout would favor the higher protein intake (three times the RDA). Regardless, the take-home message is clear – if you’re looking to shed fat and preserve muscle then you may want to consume at least twice the RDA for protein.
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Pasiakos SM, et al. (2013) Effects of high-protein diets on fat-mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J. Sep;27(9):3837-47.