Energy expenditure isn’t isolated to exercise. In fact, the process of eating and digesting food actually burns calories. There’s even a measurement for this phenomenon. The energy used to metabolically process the nutrients contained in food is known as the thermic effect, and a new study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport suggests that consuming protein before a workout harnesses the effect’s full potential.
Researchers had 10 recreationally active female college students with normal body weight consume a high protein or low protein meal, or no food at all, before running the treadmill. Protein helped these study subjects continue to burn calories after exercise to a greater degree than fasted cardio.
True Strength Moment: Another interesting finding of this study was the effect of a high-protein diet without exercise. This increases the metabolism and can contribute to weight loss, but with a sacrifice of muscle tissue. Protein with exercise can help you realize weight loss without muscle loss.
While everyone wants to lose weight fast, most experts recommend a slow, steady approach where the target is typically about a pound per week. But new research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that rapid weight reduction can have a lasting effect.
Fifteen overweight males exercised with 8 hours of walking and 45 minutes of arm cranking daily for 4 days consuming only whey protein shakes or a sucrose mixture during that time. This brought about a daily caloric deficit of about 5,000 calories and subjects lost 4.6 pounds of fat mass and 6.2 pound of lean mass on average.
For the next 3 days, they consumed a low calorie diet and continued exercising, but less than the extended duration of the first 4 days. This reduced fat mass by another 6.2 pound with 2.2 pounds of lean mass lost. A follow-up intervention 4 weeks later, helped subjects shed an average of 8.4 more pounds along with 1.1 pounds of lean mass, and after a year they had lost another 4.2 pounds on average with less than a pound of lean mass sacrificed.
True Strength Moment: It’s important to consider that these subjects were supervised very closely during this intervention. The lean mass losses were fairly typical since many people end up losing almost as much muscle as fat when dieting.
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