This is the smartest way to use protein to lose fat and build muscle according to Mike Diamonds.
Dr Mike Diamonds is a medical doctor who is now an online fitness and health coach and a YouTuber. He has close to a million subscribers on his channel and he usually uses his own body transformation as an example of how to help people become their better selves. He is also the creator of the website Sculpt by Science.
Perhaps you don’t know yet that protein is one of the most important, if not the most important, nutrient to build muscle. It is crucial for building muscle and losing fat due to its role in various physiological processes in the body. Here’s why protein is essential for these goals:
1. Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS): Protein is the primary building block for muscles. When you engage in strength training or resistance exercise, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. To repair and rebuild these fibers, your body relies on a process called muscle protein synthesis. Protein provides the amino acids necessary for MPS to occur, resulting in muscle growth and repair.
2. Preservation of Lean Muscle Mass: When you’re trying to lose fat, it’s important to maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible. A sufficient protein intake helps preserve muscle tissue while your body burns fat for energy during a calorie deficit. This preservation of lean muscle mass helps to keep your metabolism higher and ensures that most of the weight you lose comes from fat rather than muscle.
3. Increased Thermogenesis: Protein has a higher thermogenic effect compared to carbohydrates and fats. This means that your body expends more energy (burns more calories) to digest and metabolize protein. This extra calorie expenditure contributes to weight loss, as it increases your overall daily energy expenditure.
4. Satiety and Appetite Control: Protein is highly satiating, which means it helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal. This reduces the likelihood of overeating or snacking on calorie-dense foods, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit for fat loss.
5. Nutrient Partitioning: Adequate protein intake can positively influence how your body distributes nutrients. It can encourage your body to preferentially use stored fat for energy while preserving carbohydrates for immediate energy needs. This can lead to a greater proportion of fat loss during a calorie deficit.
6. Maintenance of Metabolic Rate: Maintaining or increasing your protein intake during weight loss helps prevent a decrease in your metabolic rate, which can occur when losing weight. A higher metabolic rate makes it easier to continue losing fat.
7. Muscle Recovery: Protein is essential for the repair and recovery of muscles after exercise. This allows you to train more frequently and at a higher intensity, which can further contribute to muscle growth and fat loss.
In summary, protein plays a multifaceted role in building muscle and losing fat. It supports muscle growth and repair, helps preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss, increases calorie expenditure, controls appetite, influences nutrient partitioning, maintains metabolic rate, and aids in muscle recovery. Therefore, it’s a fundamental nutrient for individuals looking to optimize their body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat.
Below you will find out the smartest way to use protein to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.
The Smartest Way to Use Protein to Lose Fat and Build Muscle
In a video, Mike Diamonds explains the smartest way to use protein for building muscle. He shares his extensive experience coaching over a thousand clients, incorporating his medical background into evidence-based practices to achieve remarkable results in muscle growth and protein intake science.
Mike delves into five controversial questions regarding protein in the context of bodybuilding. Here are the key points he makes:
- Daily Protein Requirements: Diamonds outlines that the recommended daily protein intake is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for basic bodily functions. However, for individuals engaged in weightlifting or bodybuilding, additional protein is needed to support muscle growth and repair.
- Bodybuilding: He explains that the required protein intake for bodybuilders depends on their specific fitness goals, whether they are bulking, cutting, or aiming for body recomposition. He suggests a range of 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to meet their needs.
- Protein Per Meal: Dr. Diamonds discusses the importance of protein distribution throughout the day. While the classic recommendation was 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal, recent research indicates that up to 40 grams of protein per meal may be more effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis and reducing protein breakdown, especially after a workout.
- Supplements vs. Whole Foods: He emphasizes the value of obtaining protein from whole foods, but acknowledges that supplements can be a practical way to meet protein requirements, especially when whole foods fall short. Protein supplements, such as whey protein, are considered safe and of high quality.
- Animal vs. Plant-Based Protein: Dr. Diamonds discusses the quality of protein from different sources. Animal-based proteins are regarded as higher quality due to their complete essential amino acid profiles and superior digestibility. However, he recommends a combination of both animal and plant-based proteins for optimal muscle growth.
- Upper Limit for Protein: He mentions that there is no evidence of health risks associated with consuming protein above the recommended daily intake, as long as kidney function is healthy. However, he advises against excessive protein intake that may lead to an imbalanced diet.
Mike Diamonds concludes by emphasizing that protein intake should be personalized based on individual factors, such as weight, body fat percentage, and fitness goals. In summary, Diamonds provides a comprehensive explanation of protein intake for muscle growth, addressing key questions and considerations in an accessible manner.
For a more detailed information from the man himself, watch the video below.
People should consider taking supplements for muscle growth when their dietary intake and training regimen alone are not providing sufficient nutrients to support their muscle-building goals. Supplements can be useful to fill potential nutrient gaps and enhance muscle recovery and growth. However, it’s important to note that supplements should not replace a balanced diet but rather complement it.
Common times when people might consider taking supplements for muscle growth include:
- Post-Workout Recovery: Immediately after a workout, the body is in a prime state for muscle repair and growth. Consuming a protein shake or amino acid supplement can provide the necessary building blocks for muscle recovery.
- Protein Intake: If it’s challenging to meet daily protein requirements through whole foods alone, a protein supplement can help ensure an adequate intake. Whey protein, casein protein, or plant-based protein sources can be options.
- Creatine: Creatine is a well-researched supplement that can enhance muscle strength and power. It’s usually taken pre or post-workout and can be particularly beneficial for high-intensity activities.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): BCAAs, specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are amino acids that can aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown, especially during intense training sessions.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and can contribute to overall health, which indirectly supports muscle recovery and growth.
- Vitamin D: A deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with decreased muscle strength and function. If sunlight exposure is limited, a vitamin D supplement might be considered.
- Zinc and Magnesium: These minerals play a role in muscle function and recovery. If there’s a deficiency, supplementation could be beneficial.
- Carbohydrates: For those engaging in intense workouts, carbohydrate supplements can replenish glycogen stores and provide energy for workouts.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any supplementation regimen. Individual needs vary, and personalized guidance can help determine which supplements, if any, are appropriate based on one’s diet, goals, and health status.