Unpacking protein power

Protein is the number one nutritional factor you can put into practice right now to get a (near) immediate improvement
in your fat loss and strength results.
Most people who come to see me for either goal (though both go hand in hand really well), don’t eat anywhere near enough protein for their health, performance or body composition goals.

With the focus of every fat loss program and fad diet over the last 100 years being on fat or carbs, or both, protein is often overlooked. Ironic then, that when it comes to fat loss nutrition, after total calorie intake, protein intake is the next most important factor to consider.

Protein for fat loss

To show just how important it is, when 2 groups were matched for calorie intake, the group with the higher protein intake lost significantly more weight from fat than the low protein group. And while both groups lost about the same total weight, losing muscle mass not only weakens you, but also lowers your calorie intake so you have to eat less and less food to maintain the results you get.

By increasing your protein intake, you can:

  • eat more food,
  • feel fuller for longer,
  • burn more calories eating and digesting your meal
  • improve metabolic function
  • retain more muscle whilst in a calorie deficit
  • perform better and
  • live longer to enjoy your new found body shape.

Sounds like a resounding win to me.

Current research suggests that between 1.6 and 2g of protein per kilo of body weight is the sweet spot for protein intake. Any more than this doesn’t really improve results by any real measure.
This works out as around 112 to 140 grams of protein for a 70kg individual.
That’s all well and good, but what does that actually look like?

A 125g portion of lean meat such as chicken, pork or turkey
gives around 28g of protein.

A similar size portion of fish is about 25g.

Greek yoghurt gives around 20g of protein for a 200g
serving.

A scoop of whey protein typically gives 25-30g.

Add a good serving of veggies and you can add 5-6g of protein per 100g depending on the selection.

If you want to start increasing your protein intake to get all of the awesome benefits that go along with it, start keeping a
food log to note down your meals and check at each that you are getting a serving of protein at each.

But, what about my kidneys?

Your kidneys are fine. Trust me, there is no evidence that increased protein levels have any negative effects on your kidneys. You can’t get enough protein in each day on a consistent enough basis to have any issues. An in fact, if you have no issues with your kidneys to begin with, you are good to go. The rumour of high protein causing kidney issues comes from a study looking at high (like super high!) protein intakes on rats that already had kidney issues. The latest research shows   no increase in the markers of kidneys being overworked on higher protein intake. and the intake levels were above the recommendations I’ve given you above.

If you have any questions, just shoot me an email at dave@edinburgh-pt.com

Stay healthy,

Dave.

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