DOES PROTEIN BURN FAT?
So, does protein burnfat? Let’s dig into this...
Eating a specific thingcan’t directly cause your body to just lose fat. You lose weight andburn fat when you eat fewer calories than you need for energy, this isreferred to as a "calorie deficit", causing your body to usestored fat, carbohydrate, and muscle tissue to fuel your activities.
But thereare studies that show higher protein diets can result in greater fat losswhen in a calorie deficit (and remember, weight loss isn’t always fat loss).
WEIGHT LOSS VS. FAT LOSS
Most default to the term“weight loss” to describe new year's resolutions, toning up, or leaningdown, but what the majority really want is “fat loss".
This means, we actuallywant to make sure we keep as much muscle as possible while in a caloriedeficit.
By keeping more musclemass, you can maintain a higher metabolic rate, which will lead to greater fat loss in the long run, as well as help you maintainthe results.
Muscle is the mostmetabolic tissue in the body, and protein feeds the muscle. Meaning that when you consume aserving of protein, roughly 20-30 grams of protein or more in a single sitting,you supply your body amino acids to help preserve lean muscle tissue.
It does this by switchingthe body into an anabolic state, where the body’s main fuelsource is carbs and fats.
Since your body is notburning very many amino acids for fuel, and you gave it amino acids througheating protein-rich foods, it does not need to break down your muscle tissue tofind the amino acids it needs to carry out normal operating functions.
The other state your bodycan be in is a catabolic state. This state is undesirablefor fat loss because your body is using more amino acids as fueland less of carbs and fats.
This leads to muscletissue being broken down into amino acids and used for fuel, and excessivecarbs and fats get stored as fat for later use.
Having a serving of protein, roughly 20-30 grams of protein or more in asingle sitting, is what can help to switch your muscles from the catabolicinto the anabolic state.
However, for fat loss tooccur, you can’t forget about the number one rule … you have to be in acalorie deficit.
Meaning you must beburning more calories than you consume for your body to use stored energy (bodyfat).
HOW DO I ADD EXTRA PROTEIN-RICHFOODS TO MY DIET?
A good way to do that isby replacing some of your carb and fat calories with protein calories.This will allow you to feel fuller and be less hungry while being in thedeficit.
It’s been shown that ahigh protein diet actually increases levels of hormones that make you feel fullwhile reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
This makes it easier toeat less because you simply won’t have as many cravings ordesires for high-carb and high-fat foods that are not on your nutrition plan.
WHAT is A HIGH PROTEIN DIET?
Current Recommended DailyAllowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb).
So, a guy who weighs 180pounds would need around 65g of protein per day. It’s important to note thoughthat the RDA protein guidelines were originally created to representthe minimum amount that we need to avoid malnutrition.
We can actually consume muchmore protein than that, and for people who want tolose fat and build muscle, eating more protein is very beneficial.
One of the biggestdownfalls to most people's fat loss efforts is under-eating protein.
Many studies have beendone on people consuming 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per POUND of leanbody mass and the favorable influences it has on fat loss results.
For easy math, just eat 1gram for every pound of your goal body weight!
DOES PROTEIN BOOST MY METABOLISM?
Another benefit ofconsuming protein is that it can increase your metabolism and your caloriesburned for the day.
This happens because ofthe Thermic Effect of Food (TEF).
TEF is many calories youburn while digesting your food. Each macronutrient (Protein, Carbohydrate,Fat) is different:
- Fat: roughly 0-5% of calories are used when processing
- Carbs: roughly 5-15% of calories are used when processing
- Protein: roughly 20-35% of calories are used when processing
Protein takes a lot moreenergy to digest than both carbs and fats.
The TEF benefits ofprotein plus some of the other benefits of eating protein can work together tohelp you consume fewer calories while burning more calories from the foodyou’re eating...
BENEFITS OF EATING PROTEIN
- A High-protein Diet Can Help Curb Cravings
- A High-protein Diet Can Help Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
- A High-protein Diet Can Help Repair Your Muscles
- A High-protein Diet Can Help You Feel Full
All of these can helpyou reach your goals more quickly!
If you are interested infat loss (not just weight loss) and conserving as much muscle while in adeficit … and not starving while dieting … then make finding sources of proteina priority in your nutrition plan!