Protein for Fat Loss

Did you know that protein, among many other benefits, can help you lose fat?

Before you run out and stock up on bacon; let’s talk about what kind of protein is best.

Clean protein includes:

  • grass-fed beef
  • pasture-raised eggs
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • beans 
  • organic turkey
  • organic chicken
  • duck
  • venison
  • buffalo
  • goat whey concentrate

If you have protein powder at home, check the label to see what kind of protein is used. Is it a protein isolate or a protein concentrate source?

Protein isolates are acidic and devoid of some of the most valuable components of whole protein.  These protien isolates produce excess nitrogen waste and disrupt healthy gut bacteria balance.

When proteins are isolated, the minerals are stripped away, along with lactoferrin, immunoglobulins and the fats that make up a whole protein source.

Protein concentrates when handled properly and not heated extensively; contain not only the non-denatured protein but loads of nutrients to support immunity, detoxification and digestion.

If you’re exercising (which I’m assuming you are if you want to lose fat) take 20-30 grams of protein within 40 min. after your workout to help lower cortisol levels.

When our cortisol levels are high, we have decreased sensitivity to insulin causing our body to store fat instead of burn fat.  Elevated cortisol also causes bone and muscle tissues to breakdown and slows down the repair process. 

With adequate protein post workout, we can expect to see a down-regulation of cortisol and an uptick in growth hormone and testosterone to speed our muscle repair process.

Why is it that protein is helpful for fat loss?

Protein has the highest burning point in the body. What this means is that the body uses 20-30% of the calories in protein for digestion and absorption.

Contrast this with the 5-10% of calories used for digesting and absorbing carbohydrates and 0-3% of calories used to process fat.

Protein reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin while increasing the appetite-suppressing hormones, GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. 

This is a very good thing if we want to stop running to the refrigerator every couple of hours.

How much protein?

First, take your body weight and convert it into kilograms by dividing it by 2.2. Multiply your weight in kilograms by .8 to figure out how many grams of protein you need.

Keep in mind .8 grams is the current, government-recommended dietary allowance. If you’re an athlete or pregnant, you may require more protein.

In a recent study, 96 randomly selected participants over the age of 65 were part of a group that consumed more than one gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight for six months while on a reduced calorie meal plan. After six months, they had lost an average of 18 pounds with 87% of fat loss coming from the stomach, hips, thighs and rear without losing muscle mass. (1)

Want to speed up your fat loss?

Combine your protein intake with strength training.

For 20 minutes 3x a week try any of the below exercises or variation of them.

Squats, deadlifts, overhead press, rows, bench press, lunges, kettle bell swings, pull ups, push ups.

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As we age, we lose muscle tissue and when we lose muscle tissue we burn fewer calories. That’s why whether you’re 25 or 85, you need to keep your metabolism fired up.

For more information on protein powders, read Protein Powders: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Have you noticed a difference in your body when you’ve increased your protein intake?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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