Thursday, January 5, 2012

Too Little Protein May Increase Body Fat

A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that diets low in protein may lead to increased fat storage.  CNN reported the study as most Americans began their annual battle with weight loss at the turn of the year.

Furthermore, the study suggests that the minimum protein intake federal health officials currently recommend may not be enough to maintain muscle mass in some people.  Americans involved in exercise require more protein than those Americans that lead a sedentary lifestyle.

There are several mechanisms at work.  First, your body needs a minimum amount of protein just to maintain the muscle you already have.  Second, a person involved in exercise requires additional protein to build muscle and to cover an increased amount of energy expenditure.

In summary, if you have begun a diet and/or exercise program, make sure you are eating enough protein; otherwise, you may be losing muscle along with fat....or even worse....gaining fat!

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