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How Diet Quality Makes The Fittest Fitter: Study

9 February 2017, 8:00 am EST By Livia Rusu Tech Times
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Two new studies have shown that a balanced diet, with protein-pacing and the necessary supplements, works best when combined with certain types of exercises. The studies prove that the number of calories is not the only contributing factor when it comes to fitness.  ( Stringer | Getty Images )

Two recent peer-reviewed scientific papers have shown the benefits of eating moderate amounts of protein regularly throughout the day and combining it with an exercise regimen that is multi-dimensional. The studies showed that people who are already fit find it easier to become fitter following a balanced diet.

The diet quality is highly important when it comes to improved fitness. The studies have shown that people who exercise and have a quality diet had improved fitness levels; had decreased total and abdominal fat; and have increased their lean body mass — if followed for 12 weeks or more.

Diet Quality And Exercise Go Hand In Hand

The researcher who published the papers has created an acronym, designed to help the public remember the most important characteristics of their lifestyle. The acronym is "PRISE," and the "P" comes from protein-pacing, "R" comes from "resistance," "I" means "interval," "S" comes from "stretching," and "E" for "endurance."

Paul Arciero, the exercise scientist who conducted the studies, noted that it's not just the number of calories that count (or just exercising more) but a combination of eating the right foods at the proper hours and finding the most effective exercises that best help fitness and health objectives.

The researcher divided the subjects of his research into two groups and carried out a trial that lasted for 12 weeks. The subjects in both groups consumed the same number of calories and they had the same exercising routine. However, the diet differed, as the first group ate recommended protein and fitness nutrition products, while the second consumed a slightly increased quantity of proteins, and consumed supplements rich in antioxidants.

"Interestingly, satiety was unaffected by any intervention, which was unexpected based on our recent findings, as well as data from others reporting enhanced satiety with P consumption. However, it should be noted that reports of enhanced satiety with P often come from studies using caloric restriction aimed at reducing body mass," noted one of the studies.

At the end of the trial, the researcher found that both groups had improved on almost every measure. However, those who paced their protein intakes and consumed antioxidants had the best scores in terms of fitness improvements, among both men and women.

"Multi-modal training that incorporates resistance, interval, stretch, and endurance exercise training components (RISE), improves multiple aspects of fitness (muscle strength, power, endurance, flexibility, aerobic power), as well as improving cardiometabolic health (cholesterol profile, body composition, blood pressure, vascular stiffness) in previously active normal weight men," noted the other paper.

The 'PRISE' Method

These studies suggest that the other three previous studies showing that PRISE was an effective method of improving overall fitness, as well as decreasing the visceral and overall quantity of fat, provided that the subjects consume a balanced diet with protein-pacing intakes and fitness supplements.

Additionally, these five studies provide data that contradicts a general belief that the only important factor for being fit is the number of calories consumed by the subjects. Instead, the PRISE method showed that a quality diet combined with effective exercise training can be more effective, increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat.

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