How important is protein for fat loss? If fat loss is your goal, the answer to this question is significant.
What are the purposes of protein?
- Retaining muscle mass
- Keeping you satiated
- Calorie expenditure
Retaining Muscle Mass:
Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing. Weight loss is an overall reduction in body weight. This can come from fat, muscle, water, amongst others. Fat loss means you are losing fat while retaining muscle as much as possible. OPTIMIZING fat loss requires adequate protein intake.
When we take consume adequate protein and preferably have some sort of weight training regimen as well, we put ourselves in a great position to retain as much muscle mass as possible. This is important for shifting general weight loss specifically to fat loss.
Of course, muscle has a whole host of benefits. Whether its overall strength, body appearance, metabolism, reducing injury risk and so much more. Therefore, want to retain as much muscle mass as possible when we have the goal of fat loss.
How much protein should we be taking in? 1 gram per pound of body weight is a great place to start. Can it go higher than this? Absolutely! The leaner you are and the more active you are, the more protein you’ll want to consume. 1.2 grams is generally the upper end as far as benefits from protein are concerned. However, if you like a higher protein diet and want to take in more, go for it!
Of course, I am not a doctor and do not know your specific health circumstances. It is advisable to speak with a doctor regarding your nutrition.
Keeping You Satiated:
Protein-rich foods have been demonstrated to be more satiating than other foods such as white bread or pastries. That is why keeping protein intake at a high level helps keep you full. It means you are spending more calories on satiating foods and fewer calories on high calorie, less satiating foods.
Protein acts as a food that helps with satiation by reducing hormones that make you hungry such as Grehlin and increasing hormones that lead to a feeling of satiation.
The more you feel full, the better you will be able to stick to your nutrition plan for fat loss. With any fat loss plan, there will be some level of hunger involved. However, it should not be a constant and drastic hunger level during the entire day. If this is the case for you, it may point to a problem with your nutrition setup. This very well can be caused by consuming too few calories.
Bottom line, protein helps keep you full which helps with adherence to your nutrition plan which helps with achieving results!
And who doesn’t like achieving results?
Higher Calorie Expenditure:
We know that a calorie deficit is required for fat loss. The more things we have that help us to achieve this calorie deficit without needing to slash calories by a ton or needing to continually reduce them, the better!
Protein has a high thermic effect of food. The thermic effect of a food refers to the number of calories your body expends just to digest and use a specific nutrient.
Protein likely has a high thermic effect of food due to the significant amount of your work body must do to break it down into its amino acids. I am sure this isn’t the full picture, but it likely has a large roll in it.
When we take in a proper amount of protein, it helps us stay satiated times two. This comes directly from the satiating properties it has, but also from the fact that it helps expend calories, thus allowing us to keep overall calorie intake as high as possible, which will help to keep us full!
Those are the three primary reasons why protein is beneficial for fat loss. Did you enjoy this article or do you have any questions? Be sure to let me know and ask them in the comment section where I will be sure to respond!
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Until Next Time,
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