Troy Garver and I discuss the merits of a high protein diet when you are trying to lose weight and preserve muscle.
In this podcast (download ipod compatible, 53MB), Troy Garver and I (Bud) discuss the role that protein plays in the diet. We start off by noting that Troy did make his goal of fitting in the XL size shirt for his wedding, now almost two weeks ago. We then come to the topic of diet.
Protein helps prevent muscle loss while dieting
I've been following a low carb diet. Working out on low carbs is hard because carbs are your primary fuel source. When your body is deprived of carbs, it first turns toward protein as a fuel source and then towards fat. Since muscles are composed of protein, the first phase of weight loss for most people actually consists of muscle loss. If you maintain a high protein intake, it can help spare your muscles at the outset because it is easier to just convert the protein vs. destroying muscle tissue to get it. Protein is also a less efficient source of fuel than carbs, so you wind up getting less bang per protein gram of fuel than you do per gram of carbs. Eventually, your body moves primarily toward fat burning.
Protein helps with post-workout recovery
Protein consumption also helps with recovery after weight training by providing the body with the building blocks for muscle regeneration. It can also help to consume carbs at this time because because the resulting insulin spike helps nutrients cross the cell wall into the muscle.
- Mauro di Pasquale suggests that upping your insulin levels post workout without carbs leads to higher fat burning. The way to do this is with proteins.