Why Protein is Important & What Are Best Fat-Loss Protein Sources?

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

Are you trying to get rid of excess fat? If so, take a minute and think about how much protein you consume daily.

When your goal is to put your rate of fat loss into overdrive, there is one key change you should make to your diet.

Add protein. There are several reasons why increasing your protein intake is a simple and efficient to achieve the weight loss results you have been dreaming of.

How Much Protein Per Day?​

​In fact, increasing your protein intake to a minimum of 15% to 20% of your total diet will help you achieve optimal fat loss results.

For many people, their daily diet consists mostly of carbs and fats (which are known to slow down your weight loss), with a little bit of protein thrown in.

Why? Well, it tends to take longer to prepare and cook foods rich in protein. While it is time well spent, you also have the lesser thought about the option of adding protein powder to your diet.

Why Increasing Protein Intake Daily is Important?​

If you are still not 100% sold on the idea of increasing your protein intake, here are just a few of the reasons why you should be.​

  • Protein inhibits the loss of lean muscle mass.
    When you are following a reduced calorie diet, your body looks to it’s stored up energy to compensate. While this may result in fat loss, it also can lead to muscle loss. This is because most of the protein you eat is used as fuel throughout the day, so to maintain your lean muscle tissue, your body now requires more protein.
  • Protein helps enhance your metabolism.
    Foods that are rich in proteins need more calories for your body to break them down. For every 100 calories of protein you ingest, you can burn up to as many as 25 of them simply digesting your food. Unfortunately, with fat, you only burn two calories, while carbs burn 4.
  • Protein works to eliminate hunger pains.
    Thanks for taking so long to digest, protein ensure you feel full longer and keeps you more satisfied between means for more extended periods. This decreases your hunger pains during the day, which makes it much easier to stick to your reduced calorie diet.
  • Protein helps regulate blood glucose levels.
    Foods that are high in protein do not break down into glucose in your body, which significantly decreases your chances of experiencing a blood sugar high and its subsequent crash. Anytime your blood sugar plummets, the chance that you’ll crave simple carbs goes through the roof. This will derail your fat loss efforts.
  • Protein helps speed up recovery after workouts.
    Protein is crucial for rebuilding and repairing your muscle tissue after a tough workout. By ingesting a combination of amino acids (proteins), you make certain the process goes as efficiently as possible. This will allow you to get back in the gym sooner rather than later.

While everyone needs to consume plenty of protein in their daily diet, this is particularly the case for anyone who is looking to get rid of excess body fat.

Your overall goal should be to consume a minimum of one gram of protein per pound of body weight every single day.

Keep in mind that if your diet is lacking protein, it will be harder to maintain your strength throughout the course of your diet.

Not only can this result in you feeling weaker, but it can also slow down your metabolism.​

What Are Best Fat-Loss Protein Sources?

The best sources of protein are chicken, eggs, fish, lean red meat, low-fat dairy products, protein powder, and turkey, but let’s take a minute and look at this more in-depth.

After all, all protein is not the same. Some forms of protein are much more nutritious and facilitate weight loss.

  • CHICKEN BREAST. Full of vitamins and minerals, chicken breast is a delicious source of protein that also happens to be free of saturated fat. (Just don’t fry it!).
  • GREEK YOGHURT. Not only is Greek yogurt a great source of protein, but it is also a fabulous source of calcium that has less sugar than other varieties of yogurt.
  • CANNED TUNA. This is a great option when you are in a hurry.
  • SHRIMP. High in iron and protein, but low in calories, shrimp are perfect for anyone on a diet that highly restricts calories.
  • COTTAGE CHEESE. This is the perfect snack when you need something that digests slowly and ensures your body is treated to a steady stream of amino acids for several hours to come.
  • TURKEY. As is chicken, turkey is a versatile protein option that provides an abundance of lean protein. If you cook a large turkey, put the leftovers in the freezer for future use.
  • LEAN STEAK. Opting for a cut of steak that lacks a lot of fat, such as a sirloin, is an excellent source of protein and iron, which everyone needs to survive.
  • VENISON. Similar to lean steak, venison has plenty of iron and contains tons of high-quality protein. Look for it!
  • WHEY PROTEIN POWDER. Quick, easy to make, and available in several flavors, whey protein powder is perfect right before and after a workout.
  • TILAPIA. This fish is high in protein, low in mercury, and almost entirely free of fat.
  • SALMON. Not only does salmon provide protein, but it is a great source of omega fats, which are needed to keep your body functioning at its optimal ability.

Be sure your diet includes a sufficient amount of protein. If you have trouble to add enough protein then you should consider consuming meal replacement shakes as supplements with good protein rates.

If this is something your diet is lacking, you simply won’t be able to get the fat loss results you have hoping for.

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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