Why Prioritise Protein?
The main role of protein is to repair, build and maintain all the cells in our body.
Pretty important when you think of it that way.
Our bodies require a minimum amount of protein per day.
We experience hunger and cravings as a tool for us to seek out and consume enough protein.
The body is smart, but sometimes we are not.
We don’t know that our hunger and cravings are searching for protein, so we put in any cheap, easy, tasty form of food.
If the body still does not receive enough protein, it will continue with hunger until finally you eat enough to reach your minimum requirements for the day.
Unfortunately by this time, we have often consumed more calories than we need.
The result is, the excess calories get converted to body fat.
The heavier we get, the more protein the body needs and the more hunger we experience.
The general guide for protein requirement is 0.8 – 2.0 grams of protein x kg of body weight. This can vary depending on your activity level and the amount of lean muscle mass you have (and want) on your body. I often suggest to start with between 1.0 and 1.5grams x bodyweight in kgs.
** Please don’t get obsessive about measuring out every mouthful of protein.
One palm size serve of protein rich food at each meal plus some protein in your snacks should do the trick.
3 proven ways protein can help your fat loss goals
1) Protein keeps you fuller for longer.
More fullness = less hunger = less temptation = more chance of sticking to your fat loss eating plan.
2) Up to 30% of the calories from a protein rich food are burnt off in the digestion process alone (YAY)
This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food. TEF.
You eat 500 calories of potato chips. Maybe 3% of those 500 calories are used in the digestion process. Leaving 485 calories that go into your body.
Eating 500 calories of chicken breast and vegetables. Up to 30% of those calories are used in the digestion process alone. Leaving 350 calories that go into your body. (Not to mention the fact that you would be MUCH fuller from this option compared to 500 calories contained in half a packet of chips).
** Approx numbers quoted
3) Protein maintains and helps to build Lean Muscle Mass
As we know, lean muscle mass is metabolically active, which means it burns fuel all of the time.
More muscle = (a small amount) more fuel burnt = easier fat loss and less chance of fat gain.
*** Protein is not just found in lean meats and dairy. Plant foods contain protein too.
Did you know there is up to 11 grams of protein in 2 slices of this grain bread?
Please check all labels or look up www.calorieking.com.au to be sure.
** This does not imply that protein is “good” and the other macro nutrients (fat and carbs) are “bad”. All 3 macro nutrients are important in the correct quantities. They all have different jobs to do in our body.
- 10 healthy snacks that will keep you full
- 5 reasons why I love the portion plate guidelines
- Carbs, calories and weight loss explained
Chriss Tinslay has been a fitness and weight loss coach for 20+ years.
She coaches regular people how to reach and maintain their healthy, happy weight and shape by making one small habit change at a time.
Chriss doesn’t believe in strict diets, excessive exercise or ALL or NOTHING approaches. She believes in making slow and sustainable progress for long term success.
She runs Healthy, Happy Habits – a revolutionary new coaching program that teaches you how to listen and trust in your own body and internal voice again.
When Chriss is not teaching fitness and weight loss, you can find her hanging out with her family and little dog Timmy, listening to 80’s music or maybe laughing out loud to Kath n Kim re-runs.