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06.08.2022


So it's really possible | Increasing your muscle mass during a rigorous weight loss diet

If you want to lose weight in a short time but want to keep your muscles and bones intact, you can combine a strict weight loss diet with daily intensive training. If you want to build muscle (and lose even more body fat) at the same time, you also double your protein intake.


So it's really possible | Increasing your muscle mass during a rigorous weight loss diet


Study
Thomas Longland, an exercise scientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, put 40 male students on a strict diet for 4 weeks, which provided significantly less energy than the men consumed on a daily basis. The energy intake of men was as much as 40 percent less than they burned daily.

At the same time, Longland had the students train. The men trained briefly but intensively 6 times a week.

During 2 workouts, the men did a circuit training in which they trained all major muscle groups with 80 percent of their maximum weight.

During 2 other workouts, the men did a sprint training on a cyclometer. In one session the men did 8 sprints of half a minute each and rested for 4 minutes between the sprints, in another they made 10 sprints of one minute and rested for a minute between the sprints.

In yet another training session, the men tried to burn 250 kilojoules as quickly as possible. Finally, the men also completed a weekly circuit training with plyometric exercises. The men rested for 30 seconds between exercises.


So it's really possible | Increasing your muscle mass during a rigorous weight loss diet


Longland divided the men into 2 groups. One group consumed 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight per kilogram of body weight, the other group consumed twice as much. Longland had compensated for the extra protein in the high-protein group by reducing the intake of fat.

Results
If you go by the body weight [BM] of the subjects, you see little effect of the high protein diet. The men in both groups lost about the same amount of weight. But if you look at body composition, you can see that doubling protein intake was indeed a factor.

The men who consumed 'only' 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight did not gain lean body mass [LBM]. The men who had consumed 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight saw their lean body mass increase despite their reduced caloric intake.

This also implied that the men in the high protein group lost more body fat [FM].


So it's really possible | Increasing your muscle mass during a rigorous weight loss diet


Conclusion
"The current study provides direct evidence that a higher protein diet during substantial energy deficit and high-intensity interval training not only preserves, but increases, lean body mass [...] during the energy deficit [...] and increases strength and performance in young men", Longland concludes.

A remark
Longland's study subjects were healthy and exercised regularly, but had never trained intensively before. The growth stimulus of their training schedule was therefore great.

Men and women who have been training intensively for years may react differently to an energy deficit of 40%.

Source:
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):738-46.

More:
Meta-study: animal proteins are better muscle builders than vegetable proteins 07.07.2021
Whey enhances the effect of strength training on muscle mass, collagen does not 06.08.2020
Spreading proteins over meals increases muscle growth 30.05.2020

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