Eating protein helps with losing fat, for a few reasons.
When you eat more protein, you tend to feel fuller longer
Protein stimulates the release of satiety (stop-eating) hormones in the gut. So when you eat protein, you naturally tend to eat less, without feeling hungry. And when you are eating in a calorie deficit, feeling full can be the difference between achieving your goal or binging.
Protein makes your body work to digest it
Not all nutrients take the same energy to digest. Fat and carbohydrates are pretty easy for your body to digest and absorb, but protein takes more energy to digest and absorb. If you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll only use about 70 calories of it. (This thermic, or heat-producing, effect of protein is why you sometimes get the “meat sweats” after a big protein-heavy meal.)
Protein also helps you hang on to lean mass while you’re losing fat
When you’re in a significant energy deficit (i.e. eating less than you burn), your body tries to throw out everything — fat, muscle, bone, hormones, etc. — all the stuff you need. It doesn’t tend to throw out just fat and keep muscle… unless you eat lots of protein.
When we are working so hard in the gym to build lean mass, the last thing we want is for it to be used as fuel through lack of protein consumption.
It is also neat to note that the more lean mass we have, the higher our fat metabolism (just a fancy way of saying that we burn fat more effortlessly when we have more lean muscle).
The Daily Drop
Not really even an “email.” Think of this like a daily message from Rhys and Chloe – inspiration, training, a thought, questions in life, health and nutrition. A pick me up, a kick in the butt, or some support.