This site contains affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

Protein – Essential for Weight Loss

One of the most important nutrients in your body is protein. Without protein, we could not build the muscles needed for our vital organs or the muscles we use to move our limbs. Proteins also functions as enzymes, hormones and transport molecules.

This super important nutrient in our diet is made up of amino acids. Thousands of different amino acids make up our proteins.

These amino acids get used and worn out by our bodies throughout the day and since our body does not store amino acids, it is necessary to keep a steady stream of quality proteins coming in by what we eat.

Essential Proteins

There are 10 essential amino acids that our bodies need, but are unable to make.

Complete protein sources have all 10 of these amino acids.

The vegan diet must be careful to get all essential amino acids by eating complete protein sources. Animal proteins are complete proteins.

So how does protein affect weight loss?

  1. High quality protein is necessary for muscle development. Muscle is a metabolism booster! In fact, for every pound of muscle, you burn 50 calories a day versus 2 calories for the same pound of fat. Wow!!
  2. Protein builds muscle, promotes fat burning and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Super important for helping to ward off insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
  3. When you eat protein, you actually burn 20-30% more calories than when you eat carbs. This is because of the thermal effect of protein metabolism.
  4. Also….When you eat protein, your body is actually stimulated to release stored carbs and fat.
  5. Proteins are more satisfying and will keep you full longer – this helps to prevent overeating.

Did you know, that even a modest decrease in calories can make your body breakdown muscle tissue for the protein needed activities in the body?

This decreases overall muscle mass and metabolism.

So, watch your protein intake!

A small portion of quality protein at each meal can help to prevent lean muscle mass loss.

Eating enough protein has a sweet spot, however.

Watch out! Do not overdo it!

Eating too much protein can have bad effects. This is not only hard on the kidneys (important for certain people), but also too much is stored as fat. An extreme amount of protein can cause a buildup of ammonia. The mTOR pathway is also stimulated with high protein levels and this accelerates aging and raises the risk of cancer.

Eat too little and muscles begin to break down.

It is recommended that the best amount of protein for an adult man is approximately 56-70 grams a day and 46-58 grams for a woman (.36 grams per pound).

This is different for activity levels, children, pregnancy, lactating women, recovery and illness. For your perfect protein intake see recommendations by the USDA.

The best way to get protein is to get it naturally from the food you eat.

Look For High Quality!

Eating the highest quality protein is crucial, however. As far as animal protein, avoid farm raised livestock that has been fattened up with unnatural GMO source grains.

Instead, choose higher quality meats and poultry that have been raised on a pasture.  There are now companies that will deliver quality meat and poultry that are farm raised from reputable sources. Butcher Box is a food delivery service that offers high quality beef, pork, and poultry. I highly recommend checking it out. The beef is all grass fed and grass finished, chicken is organic and bacon nitrate free!

Free Bacon for Life at ButcherBox

Watch the labels in stores that say “grass fed”. These are not always accurate and marketing tactics allow this even though we do not know for how long that animal was out at pasture!

Look for protein sources without added hormones and minimal grain fed.

Other good sources of protein include wild caught salmon, sardines and anchovies. Nuts and seeds, raw dairy, and legumes.

How to get the right protein into your diet.

Bottom line. Protein is essential when looking to lose weight and build muscle. Muscle boosts metabolism and protein is essential for your engines to run in high gear!

Many essential proteins come from animal products, however, there are plant sources: soybeans, quinoa, buckwheat, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and spirulina.

Organic grass pastured beef, poultry, and dairy, wild Alaskan Salmon, yogurt, nuts, seeds, whey protein are all good sources of proteins! 

Whey protein is another great addition, as it has a host of benefits!!

This site contains affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

Pin It on Pinterest