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Lose Two Pounds A Week by Following This Latest Protein Recommendation

Tim Boyer's picture

According to a new study published in the September issue of The FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal, scientists have found that to successfully lose two pounds a week without losing muscle mass actually requires eating two times more protein than that of the recommended daily allowance set by nutrition experts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended daily allowance of protein is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women.

The significance of this finding is that it runs counter to conventional weight loss wisdom that one of the unavoidable disadvantages of losing weight through diet and exercise is that some lean muscle mass is lost as well, thereby making gains in fat loss less optimal.

According to a news release issued by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology:

"It is our hope that the findings from this well-controlled study will be discussed and cited by the Institute of Medicine for the updated Dietary Reference Intakes on protein," said Stefan M. Pasiakos, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Military Nutrition Division at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, MA. "We believe that the RDA for protein should be based on a level to optimize health, as well as prevent deficiencies, and our data demonstrate a potential inadequacy of the current RDA for sparing muscle mass during weight loss, which may affect a significant portion of the population."

In the study, participants were placed under a protein controlled diet for one month that consisted of dividing the participants into three groups that received either the U.S. recommended daily allowance, twice the U.S. recommended daily allowance or three times the U.S. recommended daily allowance of protein. All participants were allowed a 10-day adjustment period to allow their bodies to adapt to their specific protein level and then placed under a restricted calorie diet and monitored exercise regimen that produces an average two-pounds of weight loss per week throughout the remainder of the study period.

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What the researchers found was that that consuming twice the recommended daily allowance of protein during a controlled diet and exercise program promotes fat loss while preventing the loss of muscle mass. However, increasing the U.S. recommended daily allowance of protein up to three times as much failed to provide additional weight loss or muscle mass retention.

"This study essentially confirms what body builders have shown us for a long time—a high protein diet helps prevent muscle loss when trying to lose fat," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Although eating a well-balanced diet is still necessary for health and weight maintenance, upping one's protein intake when dieting might be a useful tool in the short term."

For an informative article on how to go about building muscle, click on the link titled, “Muscle Building and Muscle Recovery Scientific Secrets You Need to Know,” and learn what researchers have discovered regarding the truth about “no-pain, no gain” advice when it comes to exercising.

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“Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial” (September 2013) The FASEB Journal Vol. 27 No. 9 3837-3847; Stefan M. Pasiakos et al.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention info sheet on protein