Top Seven Reasons to Increase Protein Intake When Trying to Lose Fat
1. Satiety: protein is MUCH more filling than carbohydrates, helping you to reduce caloric intake by making you feel full faster.
2. TEF: or “Thermic Effect of Food.” Your body burns twice as many calories simply digesting protein compared to carbohydrates.
3. Lean Muscle Support: Your RMR (resting metabolic rate), which is largely determined by the amount of muscle you carry, has a much greater influence on maintaining ideal body fat % than the 500 calories you burnt yesterday during your workout. So be sure to “collect” the lean muscle you earned through all that hard work by eating the protein your body needs to build it!
4. Blood Sugar Control: protein breaks down to amino acids in the blood stream, which dilute blood glucose and help to control insulin – the hormone that rushes extra sugar to the liver for conversion to fat.
5. More Glucagon: What? You may say… Glad you asked, because this is huge… in making you less huge. :) Anyway, glucagon is like insulin’s arch-enemy, it’s antagonist, it’s “joker”… if insulin was batman… you get my point. While insulin rushes sugar off to be stored, glucagon breaks down stored energy and rushes off the sugar to be burned. Cool, huh?
6. Less LDL, More HDL: Many studies have shown that increasing the percentage of protein in the diet can lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol)
7. PNO: or “positive nitrogen balance.” In a nutshell, this means taking in more protein than your body is excreting. Maintaining this anabolic state is “page 1” material in muscle development for dummies. I’ll put it this way: if you were to compare the muscle building industry to church, this would be akin to knowing who Jesus is. :) It indicates that more protein is entering the body than is leaving. And guess what? That’s pretty important if you are trying to add lean muscle to increase the aforementioned RMR.
Not all protein sources are created equal. For instance, I’d recommend a grilled chicken breast over a McDonald’s hamburger patty. Why oh Why Tom? Nevermind. Moving on…
I’d recommend wild-caught salmon over farm-raised. Why oh why Tom? Ok, that one deserves an answer: PCB’s and dioxins: contaminants often found in farm-raises fish.
I’d recommend greek yogurt over “regular,” because it usually has a better protein/carb ratio.
I’d recommend skim milk over whole milk – because it has a better protein/fat ratio.
I’d recommend whey over soy – because genetically modified soy (most soy on the market is) will screw with your hormones and health.
I’d recommend an all-natural protein powder over one that contains artificial ingredients – because there is no need to put toxic chemicals like aspartame or sucralose into your body when fructose and/or stevia will do the sweetening trick naturally.
I’d also recommend all-natural protein bars over ones stuffed with partially hydrogenated oils and artificial colors and/or flavors.