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Muscle-Retaining Factor #2: Optimal Protein Intake by Tom Venuto

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Muscle-Retaining Factor #2: Optimal Protein Intake by Tom Venuto

Post  Admin on Thu 9 Jun 2011 - 15:29

Another very important factor for holding on to lean tissue during calorie deficits is dietary protein. According to the research:
“High protein diets can modify the proportion of weight lost from fat versus lean tissue.”
In case you’re worried that I’m going to tell you to eat nothing but protein or even mostly protein, you can relax because that’s not the case. However, nailing down the optimal protein intake is a huge priority for cutting fat while maintaining muscle. In fact, after setting calories/calorie deficit, ensuring the proper protein intake is the next highest priority.
Most people think that protein is the most important when you’re on a muscle building program (which implies that you’re in a surplus, at least some of the time). Would you be surprised if I told that that the opposite is closer to the truth? When your calories and carbs are high, you are in a more anabolic state. You have plenty of energy coming in through food, so your body spares protein and you don’t need as much. When your calories and or carbs are low, (and especially when you’re already lean), your body more easily burns protein and extra dietary protein can help prevent that.
So how much protein do you need? This question is one of the biggest, longest-running debates in the history of bodybuilding and fitness industry and there are still as many opinions as there are experts. Entire books have been written about protein
and the amount of research on the subject is far beyond the scope of this brief report.
Collectively, the research on protein that uses weight training subjects typically gives recommendations in the range of 0.8 to 1.0 grams per pound of bodyweight. Although some people argue that 1 gram per pound is more than you “need,” (and they may be right), there is a big difference between “need” and “optimal.”
For men and women doing extremely intense training (weights and cardio) who are also in caloric deficit, it’s not uncommon to see intakes of 1.2 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight produce excellent results for retention of lean body mass.
Important Note:using grams per pound of total bodyweight works if you are a category A or B person. If you are overweight, you may overestimate your protein needs with this method and should consider using 1 g per pound of lean body weight or “target” bodyweight.
Based on the current research, the long-standing bodybuilder recommendation of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight looks like a solid starting point. From there, you need to gauge whether it’s appropriate to bump it up higher, based on your goals, training intensity, your personal food preferences and the severity of your calorie deficit.
If you choose to go with more aggressive deficits, it is a smart strategy to err on the slightly higher side for protein rather than the low side.
Since protein research is such a complex subject, look for future writings from me on this subject from the Holy Grail website and newsletter at www.HolyGrailBodyTransformation.com
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