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Why Protein is your Best Friend when Dieting…

11th May 2016

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A lot of people beleive that all calories are equal when it comes to fat loss. Whether your calories are from fat, protein or carbs doesn’t matter so long as you are burning more calories than you are expending. However, recent research has shown that this isn’t the case especially when it comes to protein. A study by Layman et al (2005) found that participants on a high protein -low carb diet lost more fat and retained more lean tissue than those on a low protein-high carb diet. There are a number of reasons why a higher protein intake is beneficial for fat loss.

  • Maintains Lean Muscle Mass and Metabolism

A high protein intake will help you maintain your lean muscle mass. This is obviously desirable for most men however if your female you may think this isn’t really in your interest, you just want to look be slim. However maintaining lean muscle mass is beneficial to both men and women when losing weight because muscle tissue burns calories. Therefore the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism and the easier you will find it to burn that unwanted body fat. Maintaining the muscle you have will also mean when you lose the fat you will look toned and healthy.

  • The Thermic effect of Protein

When food is consumed it causes an increase in your metabolic rate. This increase is a result of what’s known as Diet Induced Thermogenesis, which is the energy used in order to digest and absorb the food we eat. The amount of energy required for these processes varies depending on the nutritional content of the food. The body uses 25-30% of the calories found in protein to digest it. This is far greater than that needed to digest carbohydrates (5-10%) and fats (2-3%). This means a high protein intake is beneficial for fat burning as its digestion causes a greater increase in your metabolic rate.

  • Protein has a Satiating effect

When people eat protein they tend to be left feeling satisfied as it is very filling. Therefore when eaten on a regular basis protein helps suppress hunger and prevent cravings. This is extremely beneficial trying to lose fat as it will mean you are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and increase your calorie intake.

To increase your protein intake try consuming more of the following foods:

  • - Meat
  • - Fish
  • - Eggs
  • - Nuts
  • - Cottage Cheese
  • - Beans & Pulses
  • - Whey Protein


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