The last two posts have looked at resistance training as being the key for maintaining lean mass and resting metabolic rate during calorie restriction. The next question is whether a higher protein intake during both dieting and resistance training confers any benefits.
First, let me point out this very interesting study( full-text ). It put subjects on an 800-calorie per day diet, and then had some perform aerobic exercise and some perform resistance training.
Here are the results:
You can see that the aerobic exercise-diet group had a decrease in lean mass and RMR, as expected. The resistance training-diet group had no significant change in lean mass and maintained (actually increased) metabolic rate.
Now the question, what was the protein intake for the resistance training-diet group? Only 80 grams of protein per day!
So while higher protein during calorie restriction and resistance training might be of benefit, it certainly isn’t necessary as this study shows.