Whether you want to lose weight or just tone up, your objective should be the same… to lose fat without sacrificing muscle.

Otherwise, you’ll end up as a fat thin person.

To burn fat without losing muscle, base your meals on a healthy source of protein. And add resistance exercise to your workout routine. Recent research published in the Journal of Nutrition confirms this common-sense approach.

Researchers at the University of Illinois divided 48 obese women into two groups. One group was put on a high-protein diet. The other group consumed more carbohydrates. (Both diets had the same number of calories.) Both groups walked several times a week. But the high-protein group added two sessions of resistance exercise.

When the study concluded, the high-protein group had lost an average of 22 pounds — almost all of it from fat. The women on the high-carb diet lost 15 pounds, and more than two pounds of it — 15 percent — was from muscle.

Dr. Donald Layman, the author of the study, summed it up this way: “Both diets work because, when you restrict calories, you lose weight. But the people on the higher-protein diet lost more weight. There’s an additive, interactive effect when a protein-rich diet is combined with exercise. The two work together to correct body composition; dieters lose more weight, and they lose fat, not muscle.”

For the past year or so, my eating routine has been:

7:30 a.m. – two eggs, one piece of whole wheat toast, coffee
11:30 – protein bar
2:30 – protein shake
5:30 – espresso and one piece of dark chocolate

8:00 – protein (fish or grass-fed beef or organic chicken) and organic vegetables

This diet keeps me lean and satisfied.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.