The goal of successful weight loss should be to lose fat while maintaining muscle. In order for this to happen, you must consider the importance of protein in your diet. Your body, after water, is largely made up of protein. Protein is used by the body to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue. With regard to weight loss, this muscle is important for burning calories. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be.
Consuming protein also has a thermogenic effect. The minute food leaves your fork, protein starts winnowing your waistline. High protein foods take longer for your body to digest, metabolize and use, which means you burn more calories processing them.
Finally, protein stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents spikes and falls in hunger and energy levels. Because of this, you are less likely to reach for foods high in sugar and fat for quick satisfaction.
Here are some quick tips on protein to get you started.
- Eat between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you weigh.
- Eat 20-30 grams of protein every 3-4 hours. This means you should eat 5-6 meals a day
- Have a small protein shake or meal before bed since you fall in a catabolic state during the night.
- Eat protein first thing in the morning as your body has been in a catabolic (muscle wasting) state during the night.
- Have a protein shake with a carb one hour before a workout and after you train.
- Good sources of protein are poultry, fish, lean red meat, eggs, dairy, whey.