Fat loss seems to be a goal for just about every dieter and health and fitness enthusiast on the planet. Maybe that’s why so many “miracles” for fat loss hit the market every year. But one tried-and-true, science-backed key does exist. Eating more protein is that key.
There have been multiple studies showing a relationship between eating higher amounts of protein and fat loss and weight loss. Protein is important for boosting muscle mass, which in turn helps boost your fat-burning and metabolism.
But protein also helps boost metabolism directly, influences several hormones involved in regulating your weight and tends to reduce appetite. (1, 2, 3) Simply put, protein may be the “missing link” in your fat loss efforts.
One of the ways protein helps you lose weight and fat is through the thermic effect of feeding (TEF.) The thermic effect of feeding refers to the number of calories needed to digest and metabolize the foods or nutrients you eat.
When you eat carbohydrates, about 10-14% of those calories are used to digest those carbs. For fat, it’s about 5-6%. Protein is a different animal all together.
Protein has a thermic effect that requires about 20-35% of the calories you eat to digest and metabolize them. So if you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll use about 20-35 of them just metabolizing that protein. (4, 5)
When your body is using that many calories to metabolize protein, there isn’t much left to be converted to fat. This is especially true for those who perform resistance training as part of an exercise plan. Most of the protein calories not used to metabolize the protein will likely be used to repair muscle and help it grow and get stronger.
And simply put (again,) more muscle means more fat burning!
So how much protein should you eat for fat loss?
Many sports nutritionists recommend about 1 gram per pound of your ideal body weight per day. That may sound like a lot, but if you’re eating 4-6 small meals a day (which is often recommended for fat loss,) you’ll be able to break that down into manageable amounts per meal.
Eating more frequent, smaller meals seems to have a positive impact on metabolism. Getting protein at each of those meals will make it easier to get all the protein you need. It will also help you avoid some weird diets!
Several years ago, I had a client who was struggling to lose weight. She wanted to lose about 30 pounds and had tried just about everything. She even tried starving herself on 800-1000 calories of salad, vegetables and tofu each day. She wasn’t a vegetarian, she simply heard that animal proteins make you fat. (Not true.)
So I suggested that she increase her calorie intake and up her protein levels. The only way to do that was to eat more food and include more protein sources. Since she liked eggs, meat and poultry, that wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be.
Several things happened right away. She had more energy, especially in the gym! She put in more strenuous weight training workouts without the kind of post-workout exhaustion she previously experienced. She noticed her body starting to change and she started to lose weight!
That’s right, she was eating more calories and losing weight! Now don’t get me wrong, she put in the work in the gym and did things like meal prep, getting more sleep and keeping a food journal. All of that helped.
One big thing she did was add a daily protein shake to her diet, right after her workout. Her protein of choice? JayLab Pro Protein Powder. JayLab Pro makes supplements of the highest quality and ships them right to your door!
No garbage ingredients, no wasted calories. Just high-quality whey protein designed to support your training, fitness and fat loss needs. Now, you don’t have to buy whey protein from JayLab Pro. You might be able to get all your protein from foods. That would be great.
But if you’re a busy person with weight loss or fat loss goals, adding a protein shake once a day might help you eat better while saving a little food prep time! You can check out JayLab Pro Protein Powder right here:
Remember, when it comes to fat loss (or building muscle,) protein is a key to success! Get more of it in your diet. You’ll feel better AND have a better shot at looking better, too!
Keep the faith and keep after it!