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Protein and Weightloss

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Protein and Weight Loss 


When it comes to weight loss, most people are looking for a quick fix; that “magic pill” that’s going to help you shred fat as quickly as possible without having to change the same foods and drinks that possibly helped put the weight on in the first place. Unfortunately, there is no such pill or weight loss drink out there that will help you lose weight and keep it off for good. Exercise is another good start, but you can work out seven days a week, 1-2 hours per day and STILL not see the weight loss goals you’re wanting to achieve until you take a good hard look at your diet and nutrition first.  


Everyone has heard the saying “It took time to put the weight on, it’s going to take time to get it off”. And this is true, it does take time and patience, but one thing that can help kick start that weight loss is something you probably aren’t getting enough of to begin with.  As Rob mentioned in his earlier article Nutrition “One Size Does NOT Fit All”, your body is fueled by three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. All of these macronutrients are extremely important when it comes to weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance, but I want to hit on one of them that can help you lose weight even more efficiently and effectively than you may think: protein. 


Protein is needed to perform many different functions in the human body such as repairing tissues, regulating hormones, aiding in digestion, and even oxygenating the body via red blood cells. But most importantly, protein is essential for building muscle and preserving lean body mass while burning body fat. This is known as the thermic effect of feeding (TEF), which is the amount of energy your body uses to digest and metabolize the food you eat. Your body burns about 20-30% of all the protein you consume just through digestion alone. In fact, protein is the most thermic macronutrient there is, which means the more protein you eat, the more calories your body is burning at rest. 


When looking at your diet, it is important to know how much of each macronutrient you should be consuming. Many people who are looking to lose weight or gain muscle mass may actually begetting less protein in their diet than they may think. This can be detrimental to muscle building and can make you more susceptible to unnecessary weight gain. Protein keeps you feeling full throughout the day, so if your protein intake is low, your appetite increases, which then can lead to overeating and weight gain.  


Well, how much protein is enough protein? This depends on a couple different factors such as weight, height, age, and activity level. A sedentary adult that does little to no exercising throughout the week needs about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Individuals who live a more active lifestyle and exercise 2-3 times per week might range between 0.36 and 0.54 grams per pound of body weight. However, there is strong evidence that consuming between 0.54 and 0.73 grams per pound of body weight can increase the thermic effect of feeding, maximize muscle gain, and preserve lean muscle mass while your body burns fat. So, when you’re looking to lose weight, don’t fall for the newest fad diet that promises quick weight loss. Instead, start with your nutrition and increase that protein intake!



Abbey Redmon

PT Director

123 Total Fitness


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