Hello! Hello!

I don’t talk a lot about weight loss strategies as I’ve found in my personal experience and in working with others – it’s a slippery slope between pursuing health vs pursuing skinny or a certain number on the scale.

Often, the latter can make someone crazy lol (but seriously).

That said, weight loss is a prominent goal for many. But a lot of people focus on the scale – which tells such a small portion of the overall story – for example: unless you have a fancy schmancy scale that does all the tricks – the typical scale (like the one at the doctors office) only tells us total weight gained or lost – without delineating between total fat loss or gain, muscle loss or gain, water loss or gain.

ALL of these matter in a weight loss plan. Because end of the day, if you want to lose weight, you want to lose fat, not muscle. Enter the research I’m sharing today that discusses the protein and strength-training formula for fat loss and muscle gains in healthy individuals.

We know that in clinically overweight and obese populations it is easier to lose fat and gain muscle than if you’re someone who has 5-15lbs to lose who already lives a healthy lifestyle – sleeps well, eats well, minimizes alcohol, works out consistently – you get the idea.

(No matter what “category” you fall under ^^ keep reading as what’s discussed works for both…)

A new review paper shows that body “recomposition” (aka losing fat and gaining muscle mass simultaneously) is possible for well-trained individuals as well.

The combination of nutrition with resistance training can significantly impact body composition as well as performance and recovery. Contrary to popular belief, calorie restriction is not the lean mass melter we once thought.

As it turns out, increasing caloric intake (yes, increasing – you read that right), primarily from high-quality protein, might have a greater impact on shifting body composition when combined with resistance training.

The review highlights the benefits of whey protein and whole protein (aka meat, not vegetarian forms) for muscle gains and fat loss, which is optimized when consumed post-workout. The sweet spot seems to be 2.6 – 3.5g of protein per kg of fat-free mass and resistance training at least three times per week for these effects.

For example: if you take someone who weighs 150lbs and lets say – has done their body composition and knows they have 110lbs (approx. 50kg) of fat free mass (aka muscle) – they would need to consume approx. 130g – 175g of protein per day (and resistance train 3x per week) to find their “sweet spot” per above.

You might be asking, “What does this amount of protein look like?”

Approx. 5-8 regular sized chicken breasts, per day

Approx. 21-29 whole eggs, per day

Approx. 2-3lbs of ground protein, per day

Approx. 1 1/4 – 3 1/2 lbs of wild salmon, per day

Approx. 6-8 servings of Raw Grass Fed Whey Protein

^^linking to one I suggest

Now, obviously, no one is going to consume one, singular source of protein every day. But, this gives a good illustration for what someone with 110lbs of fat free mass would need to consume. Wow! Right?

It is important to take into consideration that initial body fat levels, training status, resistance training programs, and nutritional intake impact results between individuals. Additionally, lack of quality sleep, stress hormones, androgenic hormones, and metabolic rate also influence changes in body composition. It’s never a “one size fits all” when it comes to our health.

So, you might be thinking, “I want to try this – how do I find out how much fat free mass I have?”

Good question. My go-to is a DEXA Scan. There is a company called BodySpec that has a mobile DEXA Scan. It’s pretty cool AND affordable. Check out the link above for a list of their locations. If they are not located near you – I suggest doing a Google search for “local DEXA scan” and see what comes up. (You’re welcome to respond to this email with what you find and I will help you decide if it’s a viable resource or not…)

Additionally, this is my suggested home scale that will give you similar information. Though, not quite as accurate as a DEXA scan.

Two caveats on a home scale – I think most of you know that I haven’t weighed myself in almost 10 years and it has been, truly, one of the kindest, greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself. But, that’s me. And everyone is wired differently.

So, if you already have a scale in your home, use it regularly and find it doesn’t create negative thought patterns for you; if you’re able to use it as what it is: a data point – and carry on with your day: nourish yourself and workout normally, regardless of what the scale said – then, go for it – buy this scale, try out the research…

BUT, if the scale creates obsession, negative self talk, punishment and food restriction – this is NOT for you.

You can read the research here.

Heads up – it’s involved. If you’d like the synopsis – I suggest reading the Abstract, Introduction (until the first “Table”) and Conclusion (approx. 5 mins read for all).

As always, I’m here for questions!

Get that protein in! 😉