Losing fat while gaining muscle: Scientists close in on ‘holy grail’ of diet and workout

Researchers at McMaster University have actually uncovered substantial new proof in the quest for the evasive objective of acquiring muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated issue for those trying to handle their weight, control their calories and stabilize their protein usage.

Scientists have actually found that it is possible to accomplish both, and rapidly, but it isn’t simple.

For the study, 40 boys underwent a month of hard workout while cutting dietary energy they would usually require by 40 percent of what they would usually need.

“It was a gruelling affair,” says Stuart Phillips, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster and senior private investigator on the research study. “These guys were in rough shape, however that was part of the plan. We wanted to see how quickly we could get them into shape: lose some fat, but still keep their muscle and improve their strength and physical fitness,” he states.

The researchers divided their subjects into two groups. Both groups went on a low calorie diet plan, one with higher levels of protein than the other. The higher-protein group experienced muscle gains– about 2.5 pounds– despite consuming inadequate energy, while the lower protein group did not include muscle.

The lower-protein group at least had the consolation of not losing muscle, which is a predictable outcome of cutting calories and not exercising, state researchers.


“Workout, especially raising weights, supplies a signal for muscle to be maintained even when you remain in a huge calorie deficit,” states Phillips.

Scientists were interested since the high-protein group also lost more body fat.

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“We expected the muscle retention” said Phillips, “but were a little surprised by the amount of extra fat loss in the greater protein consuming group.”

The outcomes showed that the high-protein group lost about 10.5 pounds and the low protein group just 8 pounds. All of the participants, by virtue of the demanding six-days-a-week workout regimens, got stronger, fitter, and usually remained in better shape.

Nevertheless, researchers caution this regimen is not for everyone.

“We created this program for obese young men, although I’m sure it would work for young women too, to get fitter, more powerful, and to reduce weight quick. It’s a tough program and not something that’s sustainable or for those searching for quick and simple fix,” says Phillips. “We controlled their diet plans, we monitored the workout, and we really kept these men under our ‘scientific’ thumb for the four weeks the participants were in the research study.”

Phillips and his group hope to conduct a follow-up study on women and likewise explore a different method that he states will be “a little much easier and much more sustainable.”

The research study was released in the latest problem of the American Journal of Medical Nutrition.

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