Protein for Weight Loss: WHY Is it Important to Get Enough?

Since November 2010, I have been on a personal weight loss journey, and that was when I learned how important it was to consume enough protein for weight loss. I wanted to better understand what my patients go through when they are

habits 🙂 )

Protein for weight loss

BEFORE-August-2011

Protein for weight loss

AFTER: November 2011

Committing to a Healthy Diet Plan that Incorporates Protein for Weight Loss

I had so-so results when I first started. Actually the results were awful. After nine months of meeting with my personal trainer 3-5 times per week for 45 minutes at a time, I had only dropped 3 lbs! While I was stronger, I was getting discouraged because my body composition really wasn’t changing. It wasn’t until I committed to a healthy nutrition plan that incorporated protein for weight loss AND combined it with my exercise program that I was able to drop 8.2lbs, 8.3% body fat, and 4.75 inches in 90-days. This was despite a very hectic work schedule and traveling for a week’s time every month during the challenge, which made getting the proper nutrition and exercise in even more difficult.

80% of Weight Loss is Due to Proper Nutrition, and Protein is Essential for Weight Loss

Time and again I heard from my personal trainer and bodybuilding friends that proper nutrition accounts for 80% of weight loss. Good nutrition provides the building blocks for muscle. This is because protein-containing foods are broken down by the body into amino acids. These amino acids are then used to build and repair muscle tissue, which is important for people who lift weights and do resistance training. This is because resistance training can rapidly break down muscle protein, so it needs to be replaced by enough protein in your diet for muscle recovery, growth, and continued weight loss. Muscle burns calories and uses energy at a faster rate than fat, which is why having more muscle will help you to continue to lose weight.

Protein is Not Just for Weight Loss

In addition to being essential for weight loss, every tissue in your body is made up of protein and it is important to consume enough protein through your diet in order to replenish and nourish your body. Increasing protein intake for weight loss and athletic performance is also important because of protein’s ability to make you feel full as a low glycemic index food. Aside from helping you lose weight, low glycemic index food such as lean protein improves blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. As a result, protein is considered by many to be the most important macronutrient for humans because of the many roles it plays in the body.

Increasing Protein for Weight Loss and Building Lean Muscle

During a typical day, a non-exercising adult eating a balanced diet maintains skeletal muscle mass. This is because the cumulative rate of muscle building equals the cumulative rate of muscle breakdown. Hypertrophy, or an increase in skeletal muscle mass, occurs when the rate of skeletal muscle building EXCEEDS that of skeletal muscle breakdown over time.

When people eat protein, skeletal muscle building rates greatly exceed skeletal muscle breakdown, leading to the thought that muscle building is likely associated with eating protein. In addition, scientists have found that 3 hours after resistance exercise, skeletal muscle building rates increased 108%, whereas skeletal muscle breakdown increased 51%. Thus, eating protein is good for weight loss because it helps build lean muscle and repair muscle tissue after resistance training, especially when you have protein right after a strength-training workout.

I hope this article helps you understand that for weight loss, protein is very important. In future posts I will share HOW MUCH and WHAT KINDS of protein are good for weight loss. In the meantime, make sure you share the knowledge and have a fit and tasty day!

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Comments

  1. Thu Van says:

    WOW! What a transformation in 3 months! You’re an inspiration! I’m also touched by your giving back by being a part of the Catalyst Foundation. I am interested in joining you in giving back. I will tell friends about your website. This is very educational. Thank you for all that you do.

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