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Eat Protein, Lose Fat

If losing weight, burning fat, or building/toning muscle are on your list of goals when it comes to fitness, then eating enough protein is essential! 

Here are some signs you're not eating enough protein:

  • Slow metabolism
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Trouble building muscle or toning muscle
  • Low energy levels and fatigue
  • Poor concentration and mood swings
  • Muscle, bone, and joint pain
  • Huge cravings from your blood sugar level fluctuating
  • Prolonged soreness after working out

Here are some ways eating more protein benefits fat loss and overall health:

  • Burn more calories passively, via the thermic effect of food.
  • Quick muscle growth and repair.  When your muscles heal and grow, they become more active which burns more fat.
  • Protein takes longer to breakdown and digest leading to feeling fuller and eating less calories.
  • It is a component of every single cell in your body.  Eat more protein and your body works better, that simple.
  • Speeds recovery after exercise so you can harder and sooner.
  • Important building block of bones, skin, cartiledge, blood, and muscles.

You might be saying, "Ok Pierce, I get it, protein is important.  But how much do I eat? And how do I know if I'm eating that much?  I've got you covered!

"So, how much should I eat?"

When it comes to weight loss and fat burning, the general rule of thumb is 0.75g-1g per lb of bodyweight.  If you are intersted in building more muscle for say a bodybuilding competition, 1.25g-1.5g is a good rule of thumb.  For example, if you are a 140lb woman, I recommend you eat between 100-110g/protein a day.  This is a proven rule of thumb and has worked for myself and many of my clients.  If you are a 220lb man, I recommend between 170-180g/protein a day!

"How do I know how much protein I eat?"

The only way to accurately know how much your protein if you have never worked with macros before is to start a food log.  Myfitnesspal is an incredible free tool you can download on your phone.  This is the one I use and recommend to my clients.  This is also the first and most important step when it comes to weight loss and fat burning.  I wrote about this in another blog article, "The First Step to Losing Weight."

One of the most common problems I hear when it comes to protein, is what to eat to get that amount of protein. 

The best and most efficient sources of protein are animal proteins.  They carry all of the essential amino acids (proteins your body cannot make and you have to get from food).  Here is a list of great animal proteins:

  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Pork
  • Shrimp

Another common problem is getting enough protein if you don't eat meat!  I've heard vegetarians and vegans express concern that it's tough to get enough because they don't eat meat.  I personally think things are only as hard as we make them out to be.  And that goes for everything in life!  I went vegan for 4 months last year and had no problem getting enough protein.  Here are a list of great non animal proteins:

  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Tempeh
  • Yogurt
  • Spinach
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nuts - Almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc.
  • Quinoa

If you're still having trouble getting enough protein in your diet, then you can use supplements.  I coach my clients to only use supplements if they are struggling after eating their meals.  Protein shakes and bars are SUPPLEMENTS, meaning, they supplement your diet.  DO NOT REPLACE MEALS with protein shakes and bars.  Nourish your body with wholesome meals and supplement protein as needed.

There is a lot more about protein intake but these are the key points and why it's an important factor in reaching your fitness goals.  One more strategy I can offer is to do your best to spread out the intake.  I recommend this not because it's more effective.  It is, but only to a minimal degree unless you're a high performance athlete or bodybuilder.  For my clients and most people in general, which is who this article is for, I recommend you only focus on making sure you eat enough grams by the end of the day. 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here or email me at piercedatwyler@gmail.com.  Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!