|Minimal effort, minimal results - While you can lose weight by just adding whey protein to your diet, your success will more than double, when you're willing to work (out) for it four times a week!|
Before you go ahead and buy a bag of whey from the next best Internet supplement vendor, though, I have to tell you that why alone may have some beneficial effects. Without regular exercise, however, you are not going to shed those ~10% abdominal fat, the subjects in the PRISE, i.e. protein, resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching/yoga/ Pilates, and endurance exercise, group saw over the course of the 16-week study period.
|Table 1: Overview of the exercise program in the PRT and the PRISE group (Arciero. 2014)|
- upper-body resistance exercise (UB) for the chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and back,
- lower-body resistance exercise (LB) for the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and abdomen,
- sprint interval training, and endurance training (type C) like walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, elliptical, rowing, rollerblading, cross-country skiing, etc. and
- supervised stretching, yoga and pilates workouts (in the PRISE group, only, where the four types of exercise were cycled on a weekly basis, such that participants performed each of the four exercises, 1 day/wk for a total of four exercise sessions/wk)
All that without dietary intervention!? It sounds hard to believe that simply adding whey protein to the diet of 79 overweight / obese subjects would have such a profound impact on their body composition, but the scientists did in fact prescribe nothing else than the timed ingestion of 23g of whey protein (1) within 1 h of waking in the morning, (2) mid-afternoon or within 30 min following an exercise session and (3) withing 2 h of going to bed at night (total protein intake ended up at ~1.3-1.5g per kg body weight). Otherwise, all participants were instructed to consume their habitual diet ad libitum throughout the 16-wk intervention.During all sessions, the subjects use medicine balls, physioballs, rubber tubes, and bands, which were incorporated into a dynamic warm-up, footwork and agility drills, resistance and power movements, and core and body weight exercises (e.g., lunges, squats, and jumping rope).
In the introduction I did yet already hint at the fact that the addition of 252kcal/day from the whey protein did not increase the subjects overall dietary intake (~2,000kcal/day). Against that background it's obvious that the provision of extra whey protein induced voluntary changes in the macronutrient composition of the diet that reached statistical significance for protein (+6%, +9% and +6% in the protein, protein + resistance training and PRISE group, respectively). For fat and carbohydrates the dietary changes were too different from subject to subject (meaning some reduced fat, others carbs) to reach statistical significance - which obviously does not mean that they were not reduced!
|Only the increase in protein was stat. sign. across all groups (Arciero. 2014)|
|Figure 1: Relative changes in body mass, fat mass (subcutanous, visceral and in the abdominal region) and waist circumference over the course of the 4 months study (Arciero. 2014).|
- Arciero, Paul J., et al. "Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study." Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985) (2014).