Why protein is essential for safe fat loss

The right amount of protein is the secret weapon to shedding unwanted pounds.
Published March 4, 2020 10:39 a.m. EST
Last Updated March 4, 2020 10:39 a.m. EST

When it comes to keeping your body healthy and active, there is no shortage of information out there. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all sources on the internet can be trusted, especially when it comes to weight loss. While you might be tempted to try a diet that promises to shed 50lbs off your current body, Naturopath Natasha Turner says that the right amount of protein is the secret weapon you need to shed your unwanted pounds.

Why is protein important for weight loss?

Safe fat loss is a different, and more effective, avenue than general weight loss. Your body stores excess fat or carbs when it’s not being used as fuel. Excess carbs end up converting into fat, but that’s not the case with protein. Of the 20 amino acids that form protein molecules, only a small percentage can be converted into fat. When you eat low amounts of protein, your hunger can increase causing you to eat more total calories than you actually need.

When you’ve completed a challenging workout, the amino acids in your body work to repair your muscle fibres. These acids are essential when it comes to building your enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies.

How much protein should we be eating daily?

Your gender, lean muscle mass and activity levels all contribute to how much protein you should be eating daily. The number varies for each person but as a simple guideline, women should aim for 25 to 35 grams of protein per meal, 4 times per day. Men should aim to consume anywhere from 35 to 45 grams of protein per meal, also four times per day.

How does ageing impact our muscle mass, health and weight loss?

Strength and muscle mass are two of the greatest assets our bodies possess. However, once you surpass age 30, an untrained body tends to lose about 1% of muscle mass each year. Naturally, this can lead to numerous health risks. A loss of strength and muscle can often cause you to workout/exercise less, meaning that your body will experience less movement and lower fitness levels. In return, chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can start to develop. However, this doesn’t have to be inevitable!

What is the solution?

The more you move your body and eat the right kinds of protein, you can potentially avoid losing muscle, gaining fat and seeing a rise in your insulin resistance. Incorporating daily exercise into your lifestyle is a crucial aspect of preventing health risks. Aside from exercise, your diet is equally important. Specifically, power up your protein intake! Protein is a huge asset to every cell and process inside your body.

What are the sources of protein for different diets?

Dairy: A big source of protein is dairy and there's no shortage of ways to add it into your diet. Krinos Greek Yogurt mixed with goldenberries is a great breakfast or snack, containing loads of Vitamin C and protein. If yogurt and berries aren't enough to fill you, egg whites (6) provides 30 grams of protein.

Plant-based options: If your lifestyle revolves around a plant-based diet, there are definitely options you can incorporate. For example, Liviva Edamame Protein Pasta contains 22 grams of protein in just one serving. One can of Sprague Organic Creamy Cauliflower Soup provides 13 grams of protein.

Meat proteins: When it comes to meat-based proteins, having a kitchen scale is essential. It’s important to know exactly how much protein you’re putting into your body. The PC brand of frozen shrimp contains 16 grams per 13 shrimps and can be incorporated into your lunch or dinner. Whether you make a curry, stirfry or zucchini pasta, shrimps are a great way to get your dose of protein. Yorkshire Farms Organic Chicken is another great source of protein and can be used for a burger with a small salad on the side. If you're more into lead red meat, try and opt for organic/grass-fed with cooked vegetables. 

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