STATE OF THE SCIENCE – Protein and Fat loss
Protein intake has been extensively studied by the scientific and medical community. Fact: It is far more important for our general health than its ability to manage our weight.
However when it comes to weight loss and maintenance it seems that protein intake can play a powerful role.
Higher protein intake in combination with a calorie restricted diet has been shown to be an effective short term strategy for fat loss.
Timing of protein intake can effect the level of satiety (fullness) and amount of calories we naturally consume through the day. Adding more protein to breakfast is often demonstrated to be an effective strategy to control appetite for the rest of the day.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF HIGHER PROTEIN INTAKE CAN INCLUDE
Muscle preservation in calorie restricted diets and muscle maintenance/growth in caloric maintenance diets, especially in combination with strength training.
Appetite control via modulation of satiety hormones.
Improvement of cardio metabolic risk factors (⬇️blood pressure, ⬇️triglycerides)
Reduction in waist circumference, specifically waist to hip ratio. This is associated with lower risk of health issues in men and women.
SO HOW MUCH IS ‘HIGHER PROTEIN INTAKE’?
For athletic individuals or those with a goal of weight reduction aim for 1.2g-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight.
This equates to an average of 25-30g of protein per meal.
Aim for high protein sources e.g. majority should come from unprocessed animal sources and more nutrient dense carbohydrates such as quinoa, chickpea, lentils, beans.
SURELY YOU DONT EXPECT ME TO COUNT GRAMS OF PROTEIN?
Counting macronutrients is a bit of a niche and by no means necessary. You can easily meet your protein needs by adding some at each of your meals and are very likely to meet all your protein requirements. If on the other hand you are someone who loves numbers and enjoys tracking their data then keeping tabs of your protein intake can easily be done via a variety of food tracking apps or with a quick reference to the food packets.
BEYOND FAT LOSS
Protein is an essential macronutrient whose importance extends far beyond body weight goals. As well as being important for healthy metabolism and brain development protein intake supports healthy skin, nails, hair and overall complexion etc.
For those looking to drop body fat, higher protein intake in combination with a calorie restricted diet can be a very effective short term strategy.
Keep in mind that the majority of scientific studies include energy restricted diets. An average individual in a developed country already consumes up to twice the amount of protein required for health.
If you are not looking to lose weight you can still improve your health by increasing the quality of protein in your diet and may actually need to reduce.
Avoid processed animal protein (commercial sausages, salami, bacon 😭😭😭etc)
Go for high quality and nutrient dense carbohydrates (Quinoa, lentils, chickpea, breads and pastas cooked with high protein recipes)In addition to higher protein content these foods are superior when it comes to fibre, vitamins, minerals and all other goodness
Consider protein shake supplements along side your meals when high quality protein is not easily accessible.
And of course don’t forget to
Move More | Live Better. Dmitri & Epoch