The Facts (and Fiction) on Fat Loss

The truth about 10 common bodybuilding nutritional assumptions
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7) PROTEIN INTAKE NEEDS TO INCREASE WHEN TRYING TO LEAN OUT

When you begin a fat-burning diet and calories decrease, you have a copious amount of bodyfat to burn and your protein needs don’t change much. However, as bodyfat begins to be used up, the body begins to rely on an alternative source of energy: protein. This is when you need to significantly increase your protein intake or else your body will turn to its own muscle tissue to burn for energy. Start losing muscle tissue and your metabolism drops. And when your metabolism drops, fat burning decreases too, which undermines the whole point of being on a leaning out diet.

When getting super shredded is the goal, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight a day may not be enough — up that to 1½ grams per pound to ensure you’re holding on to as much of your hard earned muscle as possible.

VERDICT: Fact

8) ALWAYS TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH WHEN TRYING TO GET LEAN

You should always eat before training. We repeat: never skip your preworkout meal. Eating before your workout allows you to train hard, and hard training always takes precedent over cutting back on calories. 

“If someone’s not sure where he is in a dieting phase, I’ll ask him, ‘How’s your workout intensity?’” says Chris Aceto, bodybuilding nutritional consultant and contributor to FLEX and MUSCLE & FITNESS magazines. “If he answers that it stinks, that’s an indication that he’s eating too little and making the huge mistake of reducing calories at the expense of maintaining his ability to train hard. Hard training makes you lean. Hard training drives the metabolism. Those who eat nothing in the hours before their workout end up over trained, run down or they lose muscle simply because they can’t get the job done in the gym.”

Two to three hours before training, consume 30-50 g of a low-fat protein source (lean chicken, turkey or beef) and 30-60 g of a slow-digesting carbohydrate (oatmeal, whole grain bread or sweet potato); then, around 30 minutes before training, take 20 g of a fast-digesting protein (whey, ideally) and another 20-40 g of slow-digesting carbs. That should provide ample fuel without compromising your diet.

VERDICT: Fiction

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