Gain Muscle, Lose Fat Fast

Most diet experts advise losing weight gradually over six to 12 months. Scientists from McMaster University in Canada, led by Stuart Phillips and Thomas Longland, showed that caloric restriction, high-intensity weight training and intervals, and high-protein diets could cause substantial changes in body composition in only four weeks. Test subjects cut calories by 40 percent, and their protein consumption was either 1.2 grams (low protein) or 2.4 grams (high protein) per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Both groups performed intense exercise, six days per week. The high-protein group lost almost 11 pounds of fat and gained more than 2.5 pounds of lean muscle in four weeks, compared to nearly eight pounds and 0.2 pounds in the low-protein group. The study showed that high-intensity exercise plus caloric restriction triggers substantial changes in body composition and strength, and that the changes are most significant during a high-protein diet. (American Journal Clinical Nutrition, published online January 27, 2016)

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