Understanding Protein – the basics.

If you are trying to change your body composition then you need to get to grips with calorie deficit (you can read more about that here in a previous blog; Calorie Deficit ) AND balancing your macros.

Calorie deficit will equal weight loss. Balancing macros will ensure fat loss.

When it comes to fat loss, understanding protein is key so here are the simple facts about protein and fat loss.

1)
We digest protein more slowly that the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) which is the reason we feel fuller after eating protein. Including a good lean protein source at every meal will help you feel full and less prone to snacking due to hunger. Protein at breakfast is THE best way to start your day.

2)
The body burns more calories digesting protein (known as the Thermic Effect of Food “TEF) than it does the other micronutrients. You will burn anywhere between 20 to 35% of the calories of the protein just from the digestion process.
As an example; you consume 200 calories of pure protein, around 40 to 70 calories will be burned just by digesting it.
This means eating protein can both increases your energy expenditure and your calorie deficit. Win Win.

How much Protein should you be eating:

As a general rule of thumb you should be consuming 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. This will help keep you feeling full, support fat loss while also maintaining muscle mass.

If you are an athlete or you train heavily several times a week you will need to increase this to 2.2 to 3.4kg per kilogram of bodyweight.

Some Good sources of Lean Protein:
Chicken / Turkey breast, 5% fat Beef Mince, Pork Fillet, Tuna, Cod, Prawns, Egg White, Low Fat Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Seitan, Edamame, Tofu, Tempah.
*this list is not exhaustive

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