As Iʼve been recommending to bodybuilders, fitness athletes and other clients who are trying to get lean for over ten years now, a high protein diet is not only required for building muscle but it is even more crucial when dieting. In fact, the percent protein in the diet should go up when you are dieting because youʼll be cutting calories (mostly from carbs). The percent of protein in the diet should actually come down when you are bulking because you should keep your protein intake stable but increase calories, mostly from carbs.
I also always make a point of promoting the use of “quality” protein, especially the highest-quality of them all – whey protein, when dieting also.
Well now thereʼs more proof that protein, and especially “quality” protein is the best thing to get rid of abdominal fat to reveal the abs that everyone has but few ever see.
I guess a quick definition of quality protein is in order before we go any further… A diet high in quality protein in this study was defined as the amount of times a person exceeded 10 grams of essential amino acids (the only amino acids that are required for the body to build muscle) at meals.
So in this study, the researchers determined how many times the subjects in the study ate meals high in quality protein and then measured their abdominal body fat levels using the most sophisticated body composition measurement equipment available (DEXA). When all of the calculations were done, a very clear association was demonstrated – quite simply, the more meals people in the study ate that were high in quality protein and the more quality protein they ate, the lower was the level of fat around their waists.
So if you arenʼt already doing so and you’re trying to cut fat, make sure you get quality protein at every meal. If a meal or a snack doesnʼt contain meat, eggs, fish, cheese in a fairly substantial amount, then have a whey protein shake with it.
Loenneke, JP, et al. Quality protein intake is inversely associated with abdominal fat. Nutrition & Metabolism, 9(1):5, 2012