Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Increase intake of lean proteins to 1!1.5 grams per pound of lean body weight to increase your metabolic rate, increase anabolic hormones, and prevent lean tissue Auscle) losses during dieting. Below is a simple table designed to determine your protein requirements
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Days per week of exercise
45 Minutes weights
40+ Minutes aerobics
11.5 grams 11.8 grams
The goal is to preserve the active tissue we want (muscle) while coaxing the body to reduce the tissue (i.e. bodyfat) we don't want, or at least want to reduce.
This would mean that for our 2001b example at 20% body fat, this person would be eating between 160 and 240 grams of protein a day. 2001bs total body weight less 20% of that weight in bodyfat means our fictional man or woman will have 1601bs of lean bodyweight.
Therefore, at lgram (bottom end of the protein recommendation) they should be eating 160 grams of protein. The 160 grams is for healthy active people following tips one and two above but it can be as high as 240 grams (160 lbs x 1.5 grams) of protein daily for highly active people. This figure would be for those engaged in competitive level weight training, extreme endurance runners, and other high level athletes. Of course those figures would be much lower for a person weighing less and/or having less lean body mass.
Research has shown conclusively that intense exercise increases the need for protein to maintain muscle mass and performance. From a biochemical, thermic, and hormonal point of view, protein is the least likely nutrient to be converted to bodyfat as well as having many other effects conducive to preserving muscle mass and increasing the metabolism.
High quality low fat protein sources such as skinless chicken, lean red meat, sea food, eggs, and high quality protein supplements should be emphasized during a fat loss diet.
You might be concerned about a "high" protein diet.
First, one must define a high protein diet. In fact, there is no official definition of a high protein diet. For the sake of argument, we will define a high protein diet as anything above the Required Daily Allowances (RDAs).
A pervasive myth about the foods we eat is the notion that protein intakes above the (RE)A) are a health risk. This dire warning about higher than recommended protein intakes has been around for decades, and is total nonsense.
Earlier studies suggested high protein diets may be a risk factor for increased rates of bone loss and "stressed" the kidneys. These studies have been shown to be incorrect.
Nutritional myths based on outdated and/or incorrect studies, like old habits, die hard.
More recent and accurate research has shown potential health uses for higher protein intakes, as well as debunking earlier fears based on incomplete and outdated studies.
One recent review study that examined the above issues called "Optimal Intakes of Protein in the Human Diet (Millward DJ. Proc Nutr Soc 1999 May;58(2):403
13)" came to some interesting conclusions regarding protein and its potential health uses and safety.
The study outlined an extensive body of recent data showing that high protein diets may in fact be beneficial for reducing blood pressure and stroke mortality. Though some early studies appeared to show higher protein intakes caused an excretion of calcium, which would ultimately lead to bone loss, recent studies have debunked that assertion.
On the matter of bone loss, the review paper concludes, "for bone health the established views of risk of high protein intakes are not supported by newly emerging data, with benefit indicated in the elderly."
Regarding the potential for protein to stress the kidneys, though research suggests that people with pre existing kidney disease avoid high protein diets, no data has ever shown kidney function to be compromised in healthy adults. A recent study called "Do Regular High Protein Diets Have Potential Health Risks on Kidney Function in Athletes?" examined the renal (kidney) function of athletes who follow a high protein diet. The study failed to find any negative effects of a higher protein intake on the kidney function of these athletes (Jacques R. Poortmans and Olivier Dellalieux. InternationalJournal of Sport Nutrition, 2000,10).
So what's the take home? Higher protein intakes do not appear to pose health hazards to healthy active people, and higher protein intakes may in fact have health uses of their own as has been found in a plethora of emerging research.