It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, recover from a super tough workout, or simply just be healthy….eating enough protein is essential; however, it’s especially critical if you are looking to shed a few pounds.
Surprisingly, most women don’t regularly eat enough. Think about our typical “diets”…. Whole grain cereal for breakfast, a sandwich with raw veggies and yogurt for lunch, maybe a piece of fruit or a granola bar for a snack, then a portion of meat and veggies for dinner. This day of eating may look fairly healthy, but it severely lacking in protein, which can make it harder to reach your goals.
Here are the top three reasons why the power of protein is fabulous for fat loss:
1. Protein helps you feel fuller, longer
Protein takes longer for the body to break down and digest, which means a meal with protein will keep you feeling satisfied longer and keep hunger pangs at bay. A breakfast that includes two eggs, along with some fibre from veggies will keep you going much longer than just a bowl of cereal.
2. Protein helps you burn more calories
Protein has the highest thermic effect of food of all macronutrients. Your body uses energy (aka calories) to break down and process food, which is known as the thermic effect of food. About 20-30% of calories from protein is used to process digest it, so basically if you eat 100 calories of protein, only 70-80 calories are available for your body to use for energy. Compared to eating carbs which use about 5-15% of calories to process, and fats which use only up to 5%.
3. Protein helps protect lean muscle mass
We all need lean muscle to keep our metabolisms revving, but as you lose weight, your body burns a combination of both body fat and lean muscle. To make sure that your bod is burning mostly fat, it is especially important that you continue to eat enough protein in your diet. Having adequate protein coming in from your food fuels fat burning while saving your hard earned lean muscle. Especially if you are resistance training (and we hope you are!), you need the protein to feed your muscles.
So now you know why we love protein so much, but how much do chicks actually need? And what are the best sources?
Stay tuned for part two where we will teach you how to figure out your protein requirements and show you what foods to include to help reach your fat loss goals. (Want to know as soon as it’s live plus get our FIT CHICKS Chat Podcast? Click here to join our FIT CHICKS Community and we will send to you as soon as it is live!)
Laura & Amanda – FIT CHICKS xo