The good news: Science has uncovered what it has dubbed the "holy grail" equation key to the elusive quest to rapidly lose fat while gaining muscle. In other words, to get an Instabody and get it almost instantly. The bad news: it's less like a handy calculation and more like an unsustainably grueling diet and exercise regime.
"It was a grueling affair, " Stuart Phillips, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and senior investigator on the study, said of the program. "These guys were in rough shape, but that was part of the plan. We wanted to see how quickly we could get them into shape: lose some fat, but still retain their muscle and improve their strength and fitness."
The most telling variable ended up being the percentage of calories that came from protein. The 40 male participants were all given a low calorie diet, though half of them were given a diet higher in protein. The protein group still managed to gain an average of 2.5 pounds despite their diet remaining calorie deficient. The other group didn't gain any muscle, though they didn't lose any either, and thanks to the demanding six-days-a-week exercise routines they were all in much better shape overall.
However, researchers were more interested in the additional fat loss experienced by the higher protein group. Those participants lost an average of 10.5 pounds, while the low protein group only eight pounds. have suggested that getting your calories from carbs is no different than getting them from protein if your only goal is to lose weight.
Phillips and his team hope to conduct a follow-up study on women and also explore a different approach that he says will be "a little easier and much more sustainable." We'd appreciate if he could have that fine-tuned in time for summer.