How can protein help you lose weight?

Protein is one of the most important macronutrient when it comes to weight loss, muscle maintenance and building. Remember that eating extra protein is actually very helpful as these calories are not metabolized by the body in a manner similar to carbohydrates, which becomes stored as body fat (when eaten to excess). Several studies have shown this to be true. What must be kept in mind, is that the actual source of protein needs to be taken into consideration. An extra 1–2 whey protein shakes added into your daily consumption, elicit a high thermic effect which, increases your metabolism and the rate of protein synthesis. It’s a very favourable environment for fat loss and muscle building indeed.

It is natural to increase your activity level, given your increase in nutrition. Eating more protein gives you a lot more energy, therefore increasing your energy expenditure. This is the complete opposite when you begin to cut calories (Which is not the ideal lifestyle plan long term). One thing you must remember that these results of added protein consumption must also follow through with changes in your training regime. For instance, if you are trying to build muscle and lift weights, then you will make good use of these added calories. When you are inactive, then these calories may not work in your favour. Finding the correct balance is key (and it takes some work and patience).

Another favourable aspect of protein is that it creates a thermogenic environment, as it takes energy to break down and digest. That means your body is burning calories just by processing this macronutrient alone. Another plus for protein is that it creates satiety, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Therefore, you will feel full and energetic for longer stretches of time. This will dispel the need to snack constantly, in order to create a shift in energy. It’s a good idea to have a protein filled snack such as yoghurt, an egg or a protein shake during the 3pm energy slump. This will sustain you or the duration of your working day.

Protein tips

When building muscle. It’s a great idea to distribute our protein sources throughout the day, as this will have an increasingly favourable results when building muscle mass.

For sensitive guts. Chew your food well, and pick high grade sources of protein for every meal. Add vegetables, preferably green. It takes a bit of experimentation to conclude which sources will best work for easier digestion.

Protein intake guideline. Improving body composition and building lean muscle mass, requires about 3–3.5g per kg a day, when training heavy, in order to get the best results. Opting for about 2g per kg a day is sufficient for fat loss.

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