When it comes to muscle, we generally understand
the vital role protein consumption plays. After all, the driving force for muscle growth
is aptly named muscle PROTEIN synthesis. We typically stress the importance of protein
in times of bulking, where one intentionally puts on weight in hopes that, much of the
added weight results in muscle. What we don’t talk about as much is if we’re
to try to lose weight, especially fat, then what do we do about our protein? Common wisdom again is to eat more protein,
this time for the sake of preserving muscle instead of building. In fact, some research suggests you should
be eating MORE protein during weight loss than you would during a bulk. But, to further promote its importance, what
if we were to find out that more protein also helps you burn more fat? A 2016 study helped shed additional light
on this matter. In this 4-week study, 40 overweight and recreationally
active (some form of physical activity 1-2x week) young men were split into two groups. Both groups had the same weight loss diet
and given the same weekly 6-day exercise protocol consisting of resistance, aerobic, and anaerobic
training. The only difference between the two groups
is the experimental protein shakes they were given three to four times a day. One group was given a shake that pushed their
total daily protein intake to 1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. The other group was given twice as much protein
at 2.4. After 4 weeks, what did they find in terms
of body composition? With such an extreme weight loss diet at 40%
calorie reduction, both groups unsurprisingly lost a solid amount of weight, but no significant
differences between the two groups. In terms of lean body mass, the lower protein
group remained largely unchanged, suggesting 1.2 grams or protein per kg of bodyweight
is sufficient in preserving muscle. Looking at the 2.4-gram group, we actually
see a noticeable increase in overall lean mass. This result highlights an important aspect
in its own right. Assuming some of the lean mass gained is muscle,
the result proposes that we can indeed build muscle and lose weight simultaneously granted
that we eat enough protein. And finally, let’s take a look at fat mass. Seeing that the lower protein group lost zero
lean mass, it can only mean that all of the weight lost was from fat, as we see here. As for the higher protein group, if they indeed
gained lean mass yet lost roughly the same amount of weight as the lower protein group,
then it only means that they had to compensate by losing even more fat. And indeed, that’s exactly what we see and
exactly what we hoped for. Now, there are some limitations though. First, this is only one study. Fortunately, we do have plenty of research
that indicates the importance of protein consumption for muscle preservation, which this study
only reinforces. Another limitation is the overweight and untrained
subjects used. It is not much of a secret that, given a decent
resistance training program and adequate protein, untrained, overweight individuals can, for
a short period, burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. Whether the results of this study apply to
trained individuals remains to be seen. My hunch is no, given a trained individual’s
more tight-knit body composition looming closer to their genetic limitations. On that note, having an effective exercise
program is equally as important in order to stimulate the muscles for growth. But ultimately, our question seems to be heading
to a clearer answer. If you want to burn more fat during weight
loss, eating MORE protein instead of less, might not only help you preserve or build
muscle, but help you shed more of that funky fat as well. Share your thoughts on the video and the findings
below. More or less protein? What’s your take? Also, if you’ve been enjoying my content
and feel that it gives you a solid amount of value and help with your fitness goals,
please consider supporting PictureFit on Patreon. With just as little as the cost of a pound
of chicken breast per month, you can help me continue to deliver all of the it depends
goodness! As always, thank you for watching and… GET YOUR PROTEIN!


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