I have seen a lot of questions surrounding nutrition lately so I wanted to answer some of them in a post.
Today I will be focusing on everyone’s favorite macronutrient – protein.
Questions like “does protein help burn fat?” create confusion when there is so much misinformation out there.
Rise and Claim will be focusing on the best nutrition for performance in and out of the gym.
Mood, energy levels and so much more are dependent on what we are fueling our bodies with.
This is why it is vital to take nutrition seriously.
It can’t just be all about the gym.
The kitchen matters too.
Does protein help burn fat?
Consuming protein won’t magically cause fat to fall off you but it does have some awesome benefits for weight loss.
Firstly, protein has a high thermogenic effect. This means a high proportion of the calories contained in protein will be burned during the digestion process.
Here are some figures for comparison:
- Protein: 20-35% of calories burned
- Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned
- Fats: 0-5% of calories burned
For example if you eat 100 calories worth of protein, your body will burn between 20 and 35 of those calories during digestion.
A high protein diet will therefore help promote fat loss. This is done by allowing a calorie deficit to be achieved more easily.
It will also help limit fat gain if you are on seeking to pack on muscle.
Is protein good for hunger cravings?
Protein is a highly satiating macronutrient. Foods high in protein will stave off hunger by making you feel fuller for longer.
The appetite suppressing effects of protein make it easier to eat within your calorie allowance and thus lose weight.
After eating a meal high in protein you will be less likely to feel peckish and give into temptations.
Knowing how to use protein effectively makes the road to fat loss much clearer.
Does Protein help build muscle?
A high protein diet along with correct resistance training will stimulate protein anabolism to increase muscle mass.
The more muscle an individual has the greater the metabolism they will have also.
An increased metabolism will mean you burn through more calories every day. This means you can eat more food while not putting on extra fat.
Who doesn’t want that?
Is weight loss the same as fat loss?
When dieting to lose fat a calorie deficit is necessary.
Water, muscle or fat can be lost as weight on the scale. The goal of weight loss should be fat loss.
Some loss in water weight is normal. This is often what contributes to the large drop in weight during the first week of a cut.
Weight loss in the form of muscle mass should be avoided as much as possible.
Building muscle takes a long time and to lose it would be a major shame. Some muscle loss is inevitable but the aim is to limit it as best we can.
A high protein diet along with lifting weights will help minimize muscle loss. Generally the lower the body fat, the greater proportion of protein you will need in your diet.
Let me give you an example of two people who are trying to lose fat. The guy at 10% body fat with abs would need a higher % of his calories coming from protein than the guy at 20%.
You will hear a lot of different numbers given for protein requirements. A good target to aim for is a gram of protein per pound of body weight.
This figure can be adjusted once you become more familiar with how your body copes with fat loss.
What is a protein shake and what does it do?
Another common question I get asked is “what is a protein shake?” There is a lot of misinformation out there about what protein shakes do.
For an experienced lifter this question may seem silly but there is no such thing as a stupid question.
No protein shakes are not steroids. They will not automatically make you big and bulky.
I remember someone accused me of cheating in high school because I started to take protein shakes. Back then I knew it was nonsense and I still do today.
Next time someone asks you “what is a protein shake?” just tell them it is a quick and simple way of getting more protein in your diet.
Think about it.
What is easier to eat, a protein shake or a chicken breast? The chicken breast will take far longer to prepare and require much more effort to eat.
It’s 25 minutes of cooking vs 1 minute of scoop and shake.
Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken and other forms of protein as much as anyone else. However there is nothing wrong with using protein shakes as part of your diet as well.
If you are 200lbs trying to consume 200 grams of protein it can become difficult to get it all from whole foods. That is where protein powder comes in.
Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein is the best protein powder for overall price and qualtiy.
Is too much protein bad for the kidneys?
Don’t let anyone tell you a high protein diet damages the kidneys.
Unless you have kidney problems in the first place there is nothing to worry about.
Thanks for reading,
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