While a low-fat diet was still considered the optimum for weight reduction until about 10 years ago, a rethink has since set in. Because - at least in the USA - the many low-fat products have rather led to the opposite. People became fatter with it than ever before. This most likely has to do with the fact that it is the carbohydrates rather than the fats that lead to obesity. This is because the body can only use a limited proportion of carbohydrates for energy production or store them in the liver and muscles by secreting insulin. The rest migrates to the fat cells.
Various approaches to weight reduction have been derived from this insight. One approach that consistently follows this principle is the so-called "anabolic diet", in which carbohydrates are almost completely avoided. However, carbohydrates are also important for many functions of the body. In particular, the brain constantly needs a certain amount of carbohydrates for optimal function. Therefore an almost complete renouncement on it is not recommended.
Those who want to reduce fat and at the same time maintain their muscles in the best possible way should therefore design their diet so that it contains few carbohydrates, a moderate amount of fats and a high amount of protein. In doing so, one should keep in mind:
- Whey protein is a fast, anabolic protein and therefore has its importance especially in the morning and before and after training.
- Casein is an anti-catabolic long-term protein. Therefore, it is particularly recommended in diet phases. Because in the diet must be counteracted against muscle loss.
- For the protection of the musculature BCAA are particularly valuable.
- In the case of fats, polyunsaturated fatty acids are particularly important, as the body cannot produce them from other fatty acids. It is therefore recommended to take omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids during the diet.
Proteins are known to be the building blocks of muscles. And it is important to maintain them during a diet. Whey protein is absorbed by the body very quickly. Therefore, you should not do without it even during a diet. In the morning Whey Protein serves to quickly replenish the body's reserves. Before and after training, it quickly provides the body with protein building blocks to maintain the muscles, even during a diet.
Unlike Whey Protein, Casein is a slow-acting protein. While the maximum amino acid level is reached after 20 - 40 minutes after taking Whey, this takes about 3 - 4 hours with casein. It is precisely this property that seems to make casein particularly suitable for diets. Thus, there is a study in which casein in the diet could convince even better than Whey protein. Casein has anti-catabolic properties, and this seems to be particularly important during a diet.
BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are called "branched chain amino acids". They consist of the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAAs make up about one third of the protein that makes up muscles. Their tasks are mainly of a "proteinogenic" nature, i.e. they serve to maintain and build up the muscles. In addition, they are metabolized directly in the muscles - and not in the liver. BCAAs contribute to muscle maintenance during dieting through two mechanisms:
- They increase insulin secretion after exercise and therefore have an anabolic effect.
- They prevent muscle protein from being broken down via the process of gluconeogenesis to produce glucose.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
We have now come a long way from the slogan "fat makes you fat", which was still the measure of things in the 80s and 90s. Fats are vital, but it depends on the type and quality. A distinction must be made between non-essential, saturated fats or even trans fats (= fast food fat) and unsaturated, essential fats. In the case of the latter, polyunsaturated fats in particular are of great importance for an optimal supply. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and can even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are the optimal support when it comes to larger muscles and less body fat.