If you’re looking to lose weight, whether you’re in Uxbridge or anywhere else, chances are you’ve probably heard a lot about protein – why you should eat MORE, or why you should eat LESS. With so much contradiction and misinformation, it’s hard to know what to make of it all. After all, protein has been touted both as the essential nutrient, and the nutrient that will ruin your kidneys if you eat too much, etc, etc.
However, scientific research has shown repeatedly that protein is key to weight loss, helping to provide the feeling of fullness, and that it is safe.
Here are my top 3 benefits of protein that directly help us burn more calories and lose excess fat.
- Protein is key to weight loss because not only does it help you feel fuller faster and longer it also burns more calories than carbs or fat. That’s right the thermic effect of protein is nearly double of carbs and fat. When you eat it your body burns energy to break down that food. Well, protein causes your body to burn nearly twice as much energy to breakdown the food as does carbs or fat. This added Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is an added boost to your metabolism. By eating some type of lean protein at every meal 4-6 times a day will keep your metabolism at a higher state all day long. You could essentially burn 100-200 more calories per day by just adding protein at every meal.
- Another benefit to adding protein at your meals is the fat releasing effect. Eating protein leads to the release of glucagon, a hormone that aids in the release of stored bodyfat to be used for energy. It also helps prevent the storage of fat by creating a lower insulin response.
- Of course, most are familiar with protein/amino acids as the building blocks for creating new muscle. Adding muscle increases our metabolism and force our bodies to burn more calories which results in more fat calories being burned off.
I suggest to my Uxbridge personal training clients that they incorporate a lean protein source (ie. Bacon does not count – Sorry!) at every meal to enhance utilization of fat for energy, provide satiety(fullness), increase the TEF of their meal and to provide the building blocks to add new metabolism friendly muscle. I suggest you do the same.