Rules for Eating to Lose Fat: #2 Adequate Protein
Jul 13, 2010
By Avril Young, Registered Dietitian, LDN, NASM CPT
Many of my clients show me food records that have 60%+ of their calories coming from carbs. Now if you are an athlete of normal weight, that’s not necessarily a problem. But if you are trying to lose fat, it’s a different story. If your food intake is that high in carbs, it’s likely not high enough in protein. Adequate protein is important for 3 reasons: improved satiety, increased thermic affect of food and maintenance of lean body mass. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and fat, therefore adequate protein with each meal and snack can lead you to fell more satisfied. Additionally, the body works harder to digest protein than it does to digest carbs and fat. In fact, 3 to 4 times as many calories are burned during protein digestion. Finally, as you lose weight, you want to limit this to mostly fat. Consuming adequate protein to meet your body’s needs can help you do this by ensuring that you aren’t breaking down muscle for energy during periods of reduced calorie consumption. Aim to include protein with each meal and snack from sources such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, nuts, protein powders and vegetables.