Is it possible to acheive both?
People normally either have to focus on either losing weight or putting on muscle; chasing both at the same time very rarely ends in success.
However, a recent study outlines a training and diet plan that accomplishes both of these goals surprisingly well.
Normally when you diet you’re at a calorific deficit; the fat comes off but some of the weight loss is precious muscle…
The problem with this is that, unlike fat tissue, muscle burns calories. Less muscle leads to a lower resting metabolic rate, so less calories are burnt throughout the day.
The new study, carried out by McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, involved 40 overweight young men who were to undertake an intensive program.
All of them were set a diet where their daily calories were slashed 40 percent (compared to their basal metabolic rate).
Half of them would have their calories split between 15 percent protein, 35 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrates.
The other half had their calories split differently, so that that 35 percent of their calories came from protein and 15 percent from fat (with the remaining coming from carbs).
They all began an intensive workout routine over 6 days per week; full body weight training, high intensity intervals and plyometric training.
They did this for just 4 weeks.
At the end of this period both groups weighed about 11 or 12 pounds less, on average.
But the composition of that weight loss differed between the groups. The guys on the higher protein diet had actually gained as much as 3 pound of muscle over the four weeks, whihc is pretty impressive on a calorific deficit!
Public Domain from pixabay
The outcome of the tests was that protein combined with exercise is key, but that it is possible to achieve both fat loss and muscle gain under the right conditions…
Of course, by the end of the month, none of the men wished to continue. This type of extreme calorie cutting combined with intense exercise “is not a sustainable program in the long term,” Dr. Phillips said. “It’s more a kind of boot camp,” he said, manageable in the short term by people who are very committed and generally very healthy.
They now plan to undertake follow-up experiments to find a program which is more sustainable for the long term, and similar studies involving female participants.
So there you have it; you can kill two birds with one stone.
Perhaps if we take these results into account but the calories were cut by less – say 20% of the BMR, this could be more sustainable for a longer time?
We’ll have to wait and see what they come up with!
Read more here A Diet and Exercise Plan to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle