The study compared three groups of overweight, pre-menopausal women, who were each put on different diets. The diets involved low, medium and high amounts of dairy, coupled with high or low amounts of protein and carbohydrates.
The groups of women were also assigned an exercise regime that included aerobic exercise five days a week and weightlifting for two days a week over a four-month period.
Each group experienced almost identical weight loss, however, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada, the group that had consumed the high protein and high dairy diet experienced a larger ‘whole body’ weight loss, particularly around the abdominals and stomach, a notoriously hard place for women to lose body fat.
The findings revealed that 100 per cent of the weight loss for this group was fat and they had gained the most muscle mass, adding 1 ½ lbs to their bodies. The low protein, and low dairy diet group had lost the same amount of pounds in muscle mass.
By adding that much muscle mass, it can have a ‘major change in body composition’, which can lead to a number of other health benefits. Lead author of the study, Andrea Josse, said, “The preservation or even gain of muscle is very important for maintaining metabolic rate and preventing weight regain, which can be a major problem for many seeking to lose weight.”
View the original Independent article here.