Hitting your weight loss goals can be hard, especially when you’re not exactly sure how much protein you should be eating to get there. While training is important, nutrition is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss and protein is a critical macronutrient, in your ability to lose weight. We’re going to talk about how much protein you need to lose weight at a healthy rate and get the results you want.
What Is Protein
Protein is a macronutrient compromised of essential and non-essential amino acids, responsible for several biological processes, most notably building more muscle. Protein makes up enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. Protein is essential for building more muscle mass and helping your body recover from exercise induced muscle damage through the process of muscle protein synthesis.
How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Weight
When it comes to weight loss, eating more protein is one of the best dietary approaches to losing weight and cutting body fat. If your goal is weight loss then you should aim to eat at least 1.6 – 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (.73 - 1 grams per pound). Athletes typically require and demand more from their body and should consume 2.2 – 3.4g of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss. An easy way to start is by calculating your macros to find out exactly how much protein you need to lose weight. You can calculate your macros, using this free macro calculator.
Benefits Of Protein For Weight Loss
Protein Improves Satiety
To lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit simply means, that you must burn more calories than you ingest. Research consistently shows that higher protein intake, tends to provide increased feelings of fullness more so than other macronutrients such as carbohydrates or fat. By feeling fuller, you’ll be able to reduce your caloric intake, and improve weight loss.
Protein Increases Thermogenesis
Protein increases the thermic effect of food, meaning that it increases the energy “cost” it takes to breakdown your food, digest it, and turn it into fuel. While the cumulative effect of the thermic effect of food on total daily expenditure is small, it still contributes to burning more total calories and supporting your weight loss goals. Every calorie counts, when you’re calculating total daily energy expenditure.
Protein Preserves Lean Muscle Mass
Several studies show that in times of caloric restriction, protein helps preserve lean muscle mass, while losing more body fat. A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition compared a high-protein diet vs a low-protein diet, in obese woman to investigate weight loss. The study showed that woman following a 35% protein diet, lost more body fat and preserved more lean muscle mass, than woman following a 20% protein diet [R].
How To Get More Protein In Your Diet
Considering that you need to eat at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight per day to lose weight, you’re going to need to find some ways to get more protein in your diet. Adding at least 4-6oz of high-quality lean protein per meal will help you get at least 80-100g of protein per day. High quality sources of protein can include lean meats, chicken, fish, dairy, or plant-based options like beans, legumes, and nuts, and seeds.
Including protein rich snacks, such as edamame, Greek yogurt, protein chips, and protein bars, will also help you hit your protein intake to help you lose weight. Protein powder, such as whey protein isolate or plant protein can also help you get 20-25 more grams of protein per dayto help you lose weight, increase muscle mass, and improve recovery. You can even add a scoop or two of collagen to your post workout protein shake and get another 10g with the added joint and beauty benefits.
How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Weight: Takeaway
Including more protein in your diet, is one of the best ways to burn more body fat and lose weight. Dietary guidelines suggest that you need at least 1g of protein per pound for weight loss and up to 1.15g for more highly active individuals. Adding more protein to your diet is a will help improve satiety, preserve lean muscle mass and burn more body fat.
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