All macronutrients (protein, carbs & fats) have a place in a healthy diet – but protein is definitely our favourite. As women it’s super important to pay attention to protein (especially if you are looking for fat loss!).
Here are the top 3 reasons why we love protein for fat loss:
#1 Protein Helps You Feel Fuller Longer!
Now, without being to science-y, proteins are essentially just more complex molecules than something like carbohydrates. So when our body tries to break it apart and digest it, it requires a lot more effort. So this, in turn, makes us feel fuller longer because the process is a lot longer. Now, if that alone isn’t a reason enough to eat it for fat loss, if you’re going to feel full and not have cravings, I don’t know what is.
#2 Protein had the Highest Thermic Effect of Food
But let’s move on to point number two, ans that is protein also has the highest thermic effect of food out of all the macronutrients. There’s three macronutrients – proteins, carbhohydrates and fats. When we eat those and our bodies break them down for energy, each of them require a different amount of effort from our bodies. So carbohydrates and fats are fairly easy for the body to process, but protein is the hardest one for our body to break down, which means we’re going to burn more calories during that process and we’re not going to absorb those calories as fat.
Let me give you an example, let’s say you ate a piece of chicken that was 100 calories. If 20 to 35% of the calories in that protein is burned during your digestive process, that means that you are only going to digest, of that 100 calories of chicken, either 65 to 80 calories of it. Whereas if we were eating a bowl of pasta that had 100 calories in it from mostly carbs. With carbohydrates if we’re only burning about 5% in digestion you’re going to be absorbing 95% of that. So you are already you’re burning more calories just by adding more protein into your diet.
#3 Protects Lean Muscle Mass
Now, as women, this is so important because as we age naturally our muscles mass decreases. So of course we still want to be doing our awesome resistance training to keep that muscle up, but we’ve got to be eating the protein that is going to then give our body the building blocks to keep on building and protecting that muscle so we don’t end up breaking it down for energy later on.
So how much protein do you need per day? Let’s not complicate it – try for a palm size portion of lean protein every main meal (see the list below for options) and combine of course with high fibre carbs and a healthy fat!) – and you will be well on your way to rockin’ the protein game!
Our fave sources of lean protein:
- greek yogurt
- protein powder (whey or vegan)
- egg whites
- lean beef
- pork tenderloin
- cottage cheese
What’s your favorite protein source?