If you want to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat, build muscle and take on the lean, athletic shape you desire, then ensuring your intake of protein – and a high quality source of protein – with every single meal is a must.
When we think about modifying our diet in order to burn fat, we tend to think only in terms of the foods that should be avoided. For example, “I should minimize my consumption of saturated fat”, or, “I should cut down on my intake of simple sugars”.
While this is a legitimate stance to take, we also need to think equally in terms of those foods that we should increase our consumption of. High quality protein is most definitely one of them.
Protein is a macronutrient containing 4 calories per gram that essentially forms the building blocks for your entire body. Among a virtually endless list of functions, protein plays the critical role of growth and maintenance in the cells of the muscle tissue, immune system, skin and eyes just to name a few.
It is also heavily involved in production of enzymes and the maintenance of blood health. Every single one of the trillions of cells that you are made up of contains protein.
The body does not have a readily available source of protein to use (as opposed to carbohydrates which are stored in the muscle tissue as glycogen), and therefore you must provide your body with a constant stream through your diet.
Here are 3 critical reasons why consuming lean protein with every single meal will aid you throughout your fat burning program…
1) Protein produces a thermogenic effect in the body.
A substance that has a “thermogenic” effect in the body is one that causes your core temperature to increase. The average temperature inside the body is 98.6 degrees, but when this level is increased by even 1-2 degrees, the fat burning metabolism is raised and more calories will be expended even at rest.
Because the amino acids from protein are more difficult for the body to digest than carbohydrates or fats, the body must inevitably work harder to break down the protein into these individual components.
This results in a thermogenic effect that causes the body to expend more calories by simply digesting the protein itself.
2) Protein consumption produces a greater satiety effect from meals.
Those on reduced-calorie diets may find it difficult to adjust to the smaller amount of food they will be consuming, and maintaining a high protein intake is a great way to counteract this.
Including a lean source of protein with every meal will keep you feeling full and more satisfied throughout the day and will keep your appetite and food cravings under control.
3) Protein builds and maintains muscle tissue.
One of the primary factors that determines the speed of your body’s fat burning metabolism is the amount of muscle tissue you have on your body. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, and the more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat.
Not only will sufficient protein intake help your muscles properly recover in between those hard workout sessions, but it will also allow you to maintain the muscle tissue that you already have on your body.
The end result is a fat burning metabolism operating on overdrive, and a lean, athletic appearance that can only be achieved by those with a reasonable level of muscular development.
Clearly, maintaining sufficient protein intake is a very important piece of the fat burning nutrition puzzle.
So, what are the best fat burning sources of protein to include in your nutritional plan?
The following is a list of “acceptable” protein sources to include in your diet. They are all high quality, lean sources of protein containing minimal amounts of fat…
– Skinless chicken breast
– Skinless turkey breast
– Salmon/tuna/fish of all types
– Egg whites
– Lean cuts of red meat
– Low-fat cottage cheese
– Whey protein powder
– Skim milk
If you want to see the most explosive fat burning and muscle developing results possible, you should aim to include one of these protein sources at every single meal.
By Sean Nalewanyj
Once an awkward, out-of-shape “social outcast”, Sean Nalewanyj is now a renowned fat loss and muscle building expert and best-selling fitness author
Plus BONUS Body Image Audio Training on How to Overcome Comparing Your Body to Others...