Protein can play an integral part of your weight loss efforts but beware of eating too much!
Read on ….
1. Protein helps boost energy expenditure
Dietary induced thermogenesis: i.e. the increase in heat production by the body after eating due to both the metabolic energy cost of digestion and the energy cost of forming tissue reserves of fat, glycogen, and protein. This can be up to 15% of the energy intake. Protein costs more energy to digest, absorb and store than carbohydrates and fat.
2. Protein helps build muscle
Diets often cause a loss in muscle mass. Adequate protein from your diet can reduce the loss of muscle mass during calorie-restricted diets.
Maintaining or increasing metabolically active muscle tissue increases the amount of energy required to maintain that muscle at rest, in addition to the amount of extra energy required during exercise.
One kg of muscle burns 11 g of fat per week (i.e. more than ½ kg of fat per year).
To maintain muscle mass, protein intake should be 1.05 g/kg body weight/day.
3. Protein helps suppress appetite (increase satiety)
Eating more protein can help you feel fuller for longer and therefore lower your energy consumption. Therefore, you will experience higher satiety and lower hunger levels on a higher protein diet.
Also, simply adding protein after initial weight loss may help prevent fat regain. In one study, slightly increasing protein from 15% to 18% (of total energy requirements) during weight maintenance resulted in a 50% lower body weight regain, which consisted entirely of lean body mass.
High protein considerations
- Lack of energy
- Strain on kidneys
- Liver dysfunction
- Electrolyte imbalance
Note: It is imperative that a balanced diet is maintained including:
- Choosing protein from a range of sources, including lean red meat, fish, chicken, dairy or soy, beans and lentils
- Two pieces of fruit plus five servings of vegetables per day
- Three serves of dairy or calcium-enriched dairy alternatives, such as soy milk, each day to promote calcium status (Note: This should increase to four serves per day if 50 years of age or over)
- Whole grain and low GI carbohydrates.