Position Statement: The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) bases the following position stand on a critical analysis of the literature regarding the effects of diet types (macronutrient composition; eating styles) and their influence on body composition. The ISSN has concluded the following. 1) There is a multitude of diet types and eating styles, whereby numerous subtypes fall under each major dietary archetype. 2) All body composition assessment methods have strengths and limitations. 3) Diets primarily focused on fat loss are driven by a sustained caloric deficit. The higher the baseline body fat level, the more aggressively the caloric deficit may be imposed. Slower rates of weight loss can better preserve lean mass (LM) in leaner subjects. 4) Diets focused primarily on accruing LM are driven by a sustained caloric surplus to facilitate anabolic processes and support increasing resistance-training demands. The composition and magnitude of the surplus, as well as training status of the subjects can influence the nature of the gains. 5) A wide range of dietary approaches (low-fat to low-carbohydrate/ketogenic, and all points between) can be similarly effective for improving body composition. 6) Increasing dietary protein to levels significantly beyond current recommendations for athletic populations may result in improved body composition. Higher protein intakes (2.3–3.1 g/kg FFM) may be required to maximize muscle retention in lean, resistance-trained subjects under hypocaloric conditions. Emerging research on very high protein intakes (>3 g/kg) has demonstrated that the known thermic, satiating, and LM-preserving effects of dietary protein might be amplified in resistance-training subjects. 7) The collective body of intermittent caloric restriction research demonstrates no significant advantage over daily caloric restriction for improving body composition. 8) The long-term success of a diet depends upon compliance and suppression or circumvention of mitigating factors such as adaptive thermogenesis. 9) There is a paucity of research on women and older populations, as well as a wide range of untapped permutations of feeding frequency and macronutrient distribution at various energetic balances combined with training. Behavioral and lifestyle modification strategies are still poorly researched areas of weight management.
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Published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Volume 14, 2017.
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Aragon, A., Schoenfeld, B., Wildman, R., Kleiner, S., VanDusseldorp, T., & Taylor, L. et al. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y