In today’s diet culture everything has become so tribalistic. It’s really difficult to sift through all the information to come to your own logical conclusions. The great thing that we always have to fall back on is science and human physiology. When it comes to the three macronutrients, protein, carbs, and fat, protein reigns supreme as the macro of choice when it comes to weight loss.
Protein is important for weight loss for multiple reasons, but here are the top 2 in my opinion.
Protein regulates your hormones. Simply put, protein can regulate two major ones when it comes to your appetite, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals your brain when your stomach is empty and it’s time to eat. Leptin on the other hand sends a signal to your brain when you’re full. Eating adequate protein keeps you full for longer which is why it’s important. The more protein you eat, the longer you feel full, the less likely you are to over consume calories.
The second reason to eat protein for weight loss is because it has the highest thermic effect of food. In simple terms, when we eat food our bodies systems have to work to digest and distribute the food energy. This process (thermic effect) requires your body to expend energy aka calories burned in order to distribute the nutrients throughout the body. Protein, requires your body more energy (aka calories burned) to break down versus carbs or fat. This is precisely why you can’t really consume endless amounts of grilled chicken. Carbohydrates on the other hand have the lowest TEF, which is why we can wolf down bags of chips and slices of pizza.
Today’s weight loss lesson…eat your protein!
As a target 🎯 I’d aim for between .7 – 1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight 😃