Postmenopausal clients who want to lose weight
while gaining lean muscle mass should increase
their protein intake, says a study in the July issue
of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Researchers investigated the association between dietary protein intake and loss of lean mass during weight loss attempts in postmenopausal women. In this retrospective analysis, women aged 50–70 years old were observed during a 20-week randomized, controlled diet and exercise intervention program. Weight loss was achieved using differing levels of caloric
restriction and physical activity.

Regardless of which group they were in, the women who consumed higher amounts of dietary protein lost less lean mass than the women who ate less protein each day.

“These associations remained significant after
adjusting for intervention group and body size,” the
authors wrote. “Therefore, inadequate protein intake during caloric restriction may be associated with
adverse body-composition changes in postmeno-pausal women.”

Obviously, this is not a recommendation to beef up on a diet of bacon and prime rib. Regardless of your gender or age, you need to make healthy, nutrient-rich choices when upping your protein intake.