It’s been said that the typical person can lose almost as much muscle mass as body fat on the typical diet. Of course, you don’t consider yourself typical in any way. But to play it safe for post-holiday dieting, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests supplementing with this stack of nutritional support.

Researchers enrolled 80 obese older adults in a 13-week program where they were restricted to 600 calories a day. All subjects engaged in resistance training three times each week. Some recovered with 21 grams of whey protein stacked with leucine and vitamin D ten times weekly while others got a calorie-matched control drink.

Both groups lost body weight and fat mass with no significant differences between groups. However, those in the whey group gained about a pound of muscle mass while subjects in the control group lost about the same amount.

True Strength Moment: During this weight loss program, the whey group consumed about a gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day while the control group only got about 0.85 grams. Over 13 weeks, it appears this might have made the difference between building up or losing a pound of muscle mass.

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