Pounds Gained, Pounds Lost: Do Macros Matter?

Dieting for both fat loss or muscle gaining can be as simple or as complex as you make it. You can choose to eat one meal per day or six. You can cut out entire food groups and specific items such as sugar, grains, anything ‘processed’ (whatever that means) and on and on. You can choose to have a pre workout supplement and specific post workout shake/supplement/ritual. You can choose to go low carb, low fat, high fat, high protein, balanced macro nutrients etc. Any and all of these strategies can work if you take care of your total calories and your workout program.

What should your plate look like?

I want to know the simplest answer to get the results I’m after without complicating it any further than it needs to be.

So with that said the question I’m concerned with is the following:

“Are any of these strategies NECESSARY?”

Two new research papers were just recently published that shed some light on this subject and can help answer this question.

Free Living Weight Loss Study – Comparing Macronutrient Ratios

This study was looking at 4 different types of diets for weight loss. The difference in each group was the ratio of protein to carbs to fat for a duration of two years. The interesting part of this study was that the people in it were living freely and only following advice/instruction from the investigators. This is about as real as it would get to what would happen if you or I just picked up a diet book at the local bookstore and tried to apply the system on our own.

This experiment shows us quite accurately what happens when people try to follow a diet on their own without any support from a clinical research setting.

Metabolic Ward Weight Gain Study – ┬áComparing 3 Different Protein Levels

This study looked at three different protein levels on total weight gain. They were trying to find out that if people overate the same amount of calories but with different ratios of protein, would their weight gain be different? Or to say it another way, would the higher protein group gain more lean body mass instead of fat mass?

This study was very strictly controlled and the people in it were living in a metabolic ward only eating the foods provided and had their metabolic rates tested. Everything was done strictly and everything that could be measured was measured. In short, this study was the complete opposite of the first study we reviewed in every way.

In todays podcast we’ll discuss the findings of these two studies and explain what the relative merits are of these two types of study designs. You’ll learn if manipulating macronutrient ratios in a free living setting can affect weight loss, and you’ll also learn if manipulating protein content can change the type of weight you will gain if you over eat.

You’ll also learn a bit more about how nutrition research is done and how to be a smart consumer of diet and fitness information.


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