Want to lose weight? Make protein your friend

By April 11, 2016Nutrition
Protein

In the continuing search for the best diet for weight management and weight loss, scientists and researchers are continuing to point the finger at high protein diets.

Protein along with Carbohydrates and Fat make up the three macronutrients that are in our food. This often underrated macronutrient is almost always associated with building large muscles and reserved for the intimidating guys in the corner of the gym lifting monster weights.

However incorporating a high protein diet in your weight loss plan can effectively help you achieve and maintain your goal weight.

Why the Protein?

Protein which is made up of a series of amino acids has a low energy value and a high satiety level (feeling full). Containing only 17kJ per gram compared with Fat at 37kJ per gram. Although carbohydrates also only contain 17kJ per gram, Protein has the highest effect on satiety making us feel full, which both carbohydrates and fat cannot come close to. Essentially, consuming protein keeps you feeling fuller than the other two macronutrients.

So it is not just for big body builders?

Correct!

So how much should I be having?

A recent study by Leidy et al, 2015 suggests that those who are wanting to lose weight should aim to include between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kg (body weight) per day. It was also suggested that each main meal should consist of 25-30g of protein. So for example; a 52kg woman would look to consume anywhere from 62g to 83g of protein.  As a point of reference, a 100g piece of fish (salmon) has approximately 22g of protein.

*TIP: Google has a free calorie tool; just search for ‘how much protein in [food]’ and it will tell you the profile for that food type. It also works for calories, search ‘how many calories in [food]’. 

When aiming to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, high protein diets when combined with an energy controlled diet will lead to improved appetite and satiety after each meal, body weight management, and cardiometabolic risk factors. When coupled with a strenuous exercise plan, the higher amounts of protein will aid in muscle recovery and reduce post-workout soreness. So, when you’re planning your next diet or meal, look at ways of adding some lean meat or other protein into it.  If you find yourself struggling for time or to adequately consume your target levels of protein on a daily basis, then speak to your BMB Active Nutrition specialist who may suggest a protein supplementation that’s right for you.

Reference:

Leidy, H., Clifton, P., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T., Westerterp-Plantenga, M., Luscombe-Marsh, N., Woods, S. and Mattes, R. (2015). The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(6), pp.1320S-1329S.

Ben Tripodi

About Ben Tripodi

Ben is a Nutritionist and Health Scientist who has a passion for endurance sports. Coming from an elite triathlon background, he's interested in how nutrition can aid in performance and general health and wellbeing.

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