If weight loss is rapid, up to one-third of the loss can come from lean body mass
(mostly muscle) rather than fat. So it is important to eat adequate amounts of protein
and undertake both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity while
dieting. Studies have shown that it is possible to retain and build muscle mass
during both dieting and when engaged in weight-training. High protein intake has
a modest beneficial effect on preserving lean body and muscle mass during weight
loss, and both endurance- and resistance-type exercise help preserve muscle mass,
and resistance-type exercise also improves muscle strength.
Although some studies have found no benefit to muscle preservation from increased
protein, other studies, including an analysis of 17 clinical trials of people over age
60 (average age 73), found that consuming 10 to 35 grams of extra protein per day
significantly increased lean muscle mass and leg strength in men but not much in
women. Six studies found that on average more than 90% of lean body mass
losses during calorie-restricted eating could be avoided by resistance training three
times a week.
A review of 49 studies found that weight-trainers consuming 1.6 grams of protein
per kilogram of body weight a day, about twice the recommended 0.8 gm/kg, had
modestly larger increases in muscle size and strength than those consuming lesser
amounts. Higher amounts of than 1.6 gm/kg of protein were not beneficial.
Consumption of 0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.6 gm/kg) a day
would be 112 grams of protein a day for a (70 kg.) 154-pound man. This is double
the USDA nutrition goal recommended 56 grams a day for men and 46 grams a day
for women. Consuming 4 grams of protein for every 10 pounds of your weight is
another way of estimating recommended daily protein consumption. This is not a
difficult goal to reach from plant and animal sources. A cup of beans contains 15
to 18 grams of protein, a chicken breast 43 grams, yogurt 10 to 20 grams per cup,
and an 8-ounce glass of fat-free milk contains approximately 8.5 grams of protein—
nearly 40% of the total calories of skim milk.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel