You’ve probably heard this at some point: protein helps you lose weight. When I first started weight training I think I heard it about 10 times until I did some research on why! So today I’m going to go 3 ways that increasing your protein intake can help you burn more fat and build a better physique.
Before I get started, what you have to understand about protein is that your body does not store it like it does carbohydrates. When you do not have enough protein required to perform bodily functions, your body will sacrifice muscle tissue for protein. If you’re weight training you definitely do not want this, and even if you’ve not listing weights you don’t want it.
In an optimal environment you’d be getting a steady supply of protein throughout the day from meals and protein supplements. Ideally, a boost of protein every 3 hours would be the optimum for both muscle building and fat loss. This may sound like a lot, but if you pre prepare you food and get some on the go protein supplements and/or bars it’s pretty easy to do.
How protein helps you lose fat:
- Protein builds lean muscle tissue
If you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism is. Build muscle to lose weight. Protein is the building blocks of muscle, you can’t build muscle without it. Protein contains amino acids that are essential for repairing damaged muscle tissue, helping you recover faster from intense training. As you train harder your protein requirement usually increase. So if you’re obese/overweight and are working out for the first time, you will definitely need to up your protein intake to allow your body to recover quickly.
- Protein has a thermogenic effect on the body
A substance that has a “thermogenic” effect in the body is one that causes your core temperature to increase. The average temperature inside the body is 98.6 degrees, but when this level is increased by even 1-2 degrees, the fat burning metabolism is raised and more calories will be expended even at rest. Because the amino acids from protein are more difficult for the body to digest than carbohydrates or fats, the body must inevitably work harder to break down the protein into these individual components. This results in a thermogenic effect that causes the body to expend more calories by simply digesting the protein itself.
- Protein keeps you fuller for longer
Not only does protein alone make you feel fuller for longer, but increasing the amount of protein consumer with other foods helps them to make you feel fuller longer. This is particularly helpful for those who are on reduced calorie diets and are having trouble dealing with the calorie reduction.
Increasing your protein intake:
Increasing you protein intake is easy. Here’s a list of foods you can eat:
- Skinless chicken breast
- Red meat
- Whey protein powder
- Eggs (in particularly egg whites)
- Low fat milk
- Protein bars (get the low carb bars for less sugar)
- Skinless turkey breast
- Cottage cheese
Yet another reason for you to increase the amount of lean protein you consume. There are just so many positives! I believe that everyone, including those who don’t train, should keep an eye on their protein intake.