Why Protein is Important for Fatloss

You hear over and over that you need protein in your diet. You may think that bodybuilders eat nothing but protein to help them grow. But, what if I told you that protein is not only important for muscle, but it's important for fat loss.

Protein alone will not grow your muscles just like carbs and fat alone will not make you fat. Your overall daily macronutrient intake is what counts, and your overall daily calorie intake. 

When we are cutting calories from our diet, I like to pull calories from carbs and fats, and keep protein relatively high, and actually slightly increase it. In a calorie deficit you are eating less calories than what your body is asking for. In order to recover from training sessions, we need calories, rest, and hydration. Protein will aid in muscle recovery and give our bodies the amino acids that we need.

Eating protein will not only increase satiety and keep you fuller longer, but it will help you maintain muscle and build muscle as you are dieting. Muscle growth can occur while dieting, as recent studies show. However, this will be at a slower rate than if we are in a calorie surplus or even at maintenance calories. This of course depends on how low the deficit is and the individuals previous/current nutrition and training regimen. 

In addition, your body will burn about twice as many calories digesting protein rather than carbs and fats.

Protein amounts differ from person to person based on gender, age, and weight. However, if I have a client who is working out regularly I will set them around 1 gram per lb. of bodyweight. Meaning, if the individual weighs 160 lbs I will set them around 160 grams of protein per day. In some cases, when the individual is on a strict fat-loss phase, I may even increase this to 1.2 per lb. bodyweight. When we do this, we can reduce the carbs and fat amount while filling in more overall calories with protein. 

Now, there is a limit to how much protein you can consume. There is a point when a surplus of protein cannot be used in the body. I typically will recommend anywhere from 20-30 grams of protein per meal for females, and 30-40 grams of protein per meal for males. I suggest joining my coaching program to help you get set up with macros and a solid meal plan that fits well into your training routine and lifestyle! :)

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