Monday, November 9, 2009

How can I gain muscle and lose fat?

The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

Time and again, athletes repeatedly ask questions about sugar, protein, supplements, caffeine, carbs, recovery, and body fat. To address these issues, an international group of sports nutritionists (Professionals in Nutrition & Exercise Science (PINES); ) gathered in Seattle in May. Experts in their fields discussed the latest research and answered commonly asked questions. Perhaps the answers will help you resolve confusing nutrition issues.

Q. How can I gain muscle and lose fat?
A. It’s difficult for the body to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Building muscle requires calories. If you are restricting calories to lose undesired body fat, your body does not have the fuel it needs to create new muscle tissue. Instead, the body breaks down muscle to use for fuel.
A dieting athlete can minimize muscle loss with—

  1. a small calorie deficit that contributes to slow fat loss.

  2. an adequate protein intake (i.e., some protein at each meal).

  3. frequently eaten meals that offer a constant supply of protein and fuel.

  4. strength training to help protect against muscle loss

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both casual and competitive athletes in her private practice at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-383-6100). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook, and food guides for marathoners, new runners, and cyclists are available via See also

[From LaVonne - Nancy Clark is great, she has a nutrition book I love, will post that later when I can find it in my mess of books...]

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