You plan to lose the extra fat, which is creating the somewhat unsightly belly tyre, but will you ?
What will you lose ?
For many dieters the dieting programme amounts to one step forward and two steps back.
Having endured the sense of deprivation for weeks, the scale cheerfully declares that your body has lost weight. But scales cannot tell the difference between fat loss and muscle loss. Many dieters find themselves keeping the fat mass and losing muscle.
The weeks of biting the bullet and turning down chocolate cake ends up providing few, if any health benefits. In fact, the exercise in “healthy” living ultimately leaves you less healthy.
You need to keep the muscle and lose the fat.
Muscles become dinner
Being insulin resistant makes burning fat a challenge at the best of times.
When you’re not on diet, it is not a major problem, because you’re eating enough calories to keep your muscles sustained. But the moment you go on diet, muscles become vulnerable.
If you can’t burn fat because your body chemistry is programmed for fat storage , and you’re not eating much – something has to be burned to sustain you. If it is not the extra layers of fat that you’ve faithfully stored for a rainy day, then the only other option is the protein in muscle. Ouch !
Preventing muscle melt requires more protein
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests eating more protein, is one way to protect yourself from this muscle melt.
Three groups of dieters were studied. All dieters cut their calories, but they followed slightly different programmes varying the macronutrient compositions. All dieters were also sent to the gym – big time. They gymed 7 days a weeks – 5 days were aerobic workouts and the other two days they did resistance training.
Everyone lost weight, but it wasn’t always fat that they lost.
More protein equalled more fat loss
The group that were following a higher protein programme, experienced greater whole-body fat and abdomen fat losses and ended up with more muscle (lean mass) and more strength.
More muscle and less fat is a win-win situation.
The benefits of less fat are profound and probably don’t need too much explanation – fewer crying baby fats cells, translates to less inflammation, less inflammation means better health. Disappearing fat cells move you away from becoming diabetic sometime down the line.
Having more muscle or even the same amount of muscle as when you started, is also hugely significant. The amount of muscle sets your basal metabolic rate – the more you have, the more energy you use being you, which going forward means you can get away with eating a few more calories before you hit the “more than you need mark”. Remember it is the more than you need that gets stored as FAT to begin with.
Protein the forgotten macronutrient
Diet programmes focus on fats and carbs.
You typically follow a high carb, low fat programme or if you are a little unorthodox or better informed, a low carb, high fat programme, but no one really talks much about the protein.
Protein is a key player you can’t afford to forget.
Eating according to the rule of thirds keeps all three macronutrients on an equal footing – it keeps inflammation in check and the extra protein will keep your muscles safe from cannabilization.
Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women. Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 141 (9): 1626 R. Josse, S. A. Atkinson, M. A. Tarnopolsky, S. M. Phillips.
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