Why do we need Protein in our diet?
Muscle is made, maintained and repaired with protein, and consuming complete protein provides all of the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) needed to build muscle. Protein intake is also essential for shedding those unwanted (fat) pounds. First, it helps you burn more calories because of the thermic effect of food (TEF)
Fat has a TEF of 3%, carbs have a TEF of around 8%, but protein’s TEF is between 20-30%!
So one-quarter of the protein calories you eat will be burned just from eating it. By increasing protein intake in your diet, you are burning extra calories (since the extra protein will be replacing either carbs or fat intake).
Also, protein is needed to maintain and build muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) will be, since muscles burn more energy (glucose specifically). Therefore, by having higher muscle mass, you will burn more energy at rest.
Protein also increases satiety or fullness, meaning you will feel less hungry after consuming higher protein meals. As a result, you are less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack such as a donut or chips between meals. This will help you adhere to your new diet.
Here are some tips to help you make sure that you hit your protein goals:
High Protein Food Sources:
High Protein Vegan Friendly Foods:
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