Digital News Report – Weight loss is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions and there are so many diets available, it is difficult to know where to get started. A recent study published in the January issue of JAMA found that protein can help preserve muscle mass, but if you overeat you will still gain the same amount of fat. They also found that people who ate a low-protein diet (5 percent of the total calories) and overate, gained less weight but still added the same amount of fat. They just lost muscle mass instead, which accounted for the offset.
The researchers found that eating excessive calories with a diet low on protein still promoted fat storage, while a diet with more protein can help to increase muscle mass. Both stored the same amount of fat.
The study results suggests that eating more calories than needed will translate to excess fat gain no matter what types of food you eat. However, eating more protein increased lean muscle mass in this study. The low protein eaters lost lean muscle mass while gaining the same amount of fat. That is why the low protein eaters did not gain as much weight gain, because they lost lean muscle mass. The researchers suggest that the focus should be more on fat loss rather than weight loss.
If a person wants to lose body fat, they should eat less calories overall. Eating protein is beneficial to help add muscle mass and maintain muscles. Eating less protein will cause a decrease in lean muscle. However, in the study, there was not much difference from the normal protein to the high protein group, so eating a regular amount of protein, about 15 percent of the calories, is good enough.
Having lean muscle mass is beneficial to burn more calories. Muscles also are important for preventing back and joint pain. Muscles take up less space than body fat. A person can weigh a lot more, but be smaller than a person that is lacking in muscles and weighs less.
So when deciding on a weight loss plan, make sure to have a well-rounded diet that focuses on healthy eating. According to the US News and World Report, they rated the best overall weight loss plans for 2012. The best was the DASH Diet, which is intended to lower high blood pressure, however many people lose weight just by eating healthy. Second to the best was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLC diet. Tied for third place were the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and the Weight Watchers Diet. To see a complete list of 2012’s best overall weight loss diets visit http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-overall-diets.
By: Jason Chang