For many years, coaches and trainers have been extolling the virtues of a higher protein diet, not only for muscle building, but also for weight loss. However, many people in the mainstream medical community have disputed its effectiveness. Now there's a really good piece of research that supports this notion 100%.
Researchers at the University of Illinois compared two calorie restricted diets - one, a protein-rich diet designed to contain higher than normal levels of Leucine, an essential amino acid, the other a higher carbohydrate diet based on the food pyramid.
The findings? Although both diets contained the same amount of calories, those on the higher-protein diet lost more weight. Researchers called this the metabolic advantage of a protein-rich diet.
The study looked at two levels of exercise:
- Walking two to three times a week, for a total of less than 100 minutes
- Walking five times per week for 30-minutes, plus two 30-minute weightlifting sessions per week.
While both groups lost weight, the protein-rich, high-exercise group not only lost more weight, but almost 100 percent of the weight loss was fat. In the high-carbohydrate, high-exercise group, up to 25 to 30 percent of the weight lost was muscle.