Up the Protein!

No doubt that many of you, when you started a program like P90X or INSANITY, your goal was simple…weight loss.  What I want to address today is the idea of not just losing weight, but losing FAT!  So many people think that by just cutting the calories, the fat will fall off their body.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  No one will argue that they want to lose weight fast, but it is just as important that you maintain your muscle mass.

The reason it is so important to maintain your muscle mass is that muscle burns calories.  If you simply cut calories, this kind of restricted diet is actually the ideal recipe for losing muscle tissue and sparing fat, as it causes the body to shift into starvation mode and uses your muscles for energy. It also makes you store fat for emergency energy.

I have lost over 50 pounds in my transformation.  I was at 27% body fat six months ago and I currently am now below 8%.  Though I lost so much weight, I have maintained my muscle mass!  I did this buy researching the nutrition and supplements, while strategically fueling my body with the right foods to keep my metabolism in overdrive AND give my muscles what they needed to repair and grow.  I did this with a diet high in protein and of course its no secret that I love Shakeology, which gave me all the nutrients my body needed.

Studies continue to show that the greatest results in dieting come from a diet that is high in protein and low in carbs.  Now I always get the few people saying “your brain needs carbs to function”.  Agreed.  You just need to learn to get your carbs from vegetables, fruits and whole grains, rather than that dish of alfredo!  Since we know that protein fuels our muscles before and after a workout, it was only appropriate that the P90X Nutrition Guide provided a nutrition plan that followed these guidelines.  They were intentional in keeping your protein intake high while lowering the fat and carbs, giving you the greatest chance for success.

In fact, Beachbody recently posted the results of a study in which two groups of obese people were given two meal-replacement shakes per day as part of a weight loss plan. One of those groups was also given extra protein in their meal replacement shakes. The results: Both groups lost equal amounts of weight, but the group taking additional protein maintained lean muscle mass while the other group lost lean muscle mass. So the group given additional protein actually lost MORE body fat (they lost the same amount of overall weight, but did not lose any muscle).  Watch this video to see for yourself:

So…If you have tried just cutting the calories and aren’t seeing the results you want, up your protein intake to ensure your muscles are growing.  The result will be quicker fat loss and a healthier you!

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