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Protein intake for Fat Loss and Optimal Body Composition

By Admin | In Exercise and Nutrition Tips and Advice | on July 23, 2014

Increase your protein intake for fat loss and optimal body composition


Too many people turn to reducing calories when trying to lose weight, rather than looking at what they are eating and adjusting to healthier choices and providing the body with the nutrients it needs to perform optimally.


One of the most common mistakes people make is not consuming enough high quality protein.  Protein should be eaten at every meal, and also with every snack.  Protein energises you, balancing blood sugars, fills you up, and provides the most nutrients per calorie.


Here are more reasons why protein is so important:


  1. It raises your metabolism because it costs the body more calories to process protein than it does with carbs and fat.
  2. It is filling because eating it causes the release of gut hormones that keep you satisfied.
  3. It helps manage blood sugar and insulin, decreasing cravings for carbs
  4. It triggers protein synthesis, preserving/building lean tissue so your body burns more calories at rest.


Not all protein sources are created equally, foods do differ in regards to their digestibility and nutrient content.  Therefore, the most important questions to ask yourself before consuming foods is:

  1. Is this food nutrient rich?
  2. Can my body digest this food easily?


Below are 5 protein sources I believe to be the most nutrient rich and digestible.  Just be aware there may be some individual tolerances of certain foods that may cause a negative immune response.  Also, physical activity, in particular strength training is necessary for optimal body composition.

1.    Eggs

Eggs are a perfect source of protein, providing a wealth of amino acids that are used by the body to repair muscle tissue.  Add to that the array of powerful brain nutrients and beneficial fats and you’ve got a superfood that will keep you satisfied and promote optimal body composition.

The Good things about eggs:

  1. They contain the highest amount of leucine after milk, which is the most important amino acid for building muscle (great for after a workout, or the morning after a hard training session).
  2. They contain choline, which is used by the body to create acetylcholine that improves brain function and beneficial for motivation (therefore a great breakfast food to get you going and increase productivity during the day).
  3. High in Vit D and K, which are fat soluble, which means that eggs are a highly bio-available source that allows for maximal absorption.  Both Vitamins are essential for bone building, and Vit D is involved in metabolic processes and development of muscle quality and strength.
  4. They are rich in the antioxidants selenium, lutein and zeaxanthin that can reduce inflammation in the body and promote overall health.
  5. Improves insulin health and metabolism and satiety.

2.    Salmon and other Cold water fish.

Salmon has 20 grams of protein in one serving.  It has a wide array of amino acids and is higher in Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) than chicken.  Its nutrient rich, providing healthy doses of Vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, potassium, and iron and of course fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna are very high in omega 3 fats too.

3.    Grass Fed Beef

Beef provides an excellent profile of essential amino acids.  It is also high in omega 3 fats, carnitine (the nutrient that aids in fat for use as fuel), glutamine (known as a muscle builder and immune booster), glycine and glutathione (immune boosters) and CLA (anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing).

It’s also got zinc (for healthy androgen levels), iron (for energy production), and magnesium (for fighting stress).

Eating beef leads to less hunger by favourably changing hunger hormones, and neural signals that keep you full and satisfied.

4.    Chicken and Poultry

Chicken has the highest protein content per gram, but it’s lower in the powerhouse muscle building BCAA’s than the other proteins on the list.

5.    Whey Protein

Whey protein stimulates protein synthesis more than all other sources, and it performs well in long term muscle and strength building studies.  Whey protein, along with eggs scores highest in protein quality.  Whey is highly digestible and contains a great amount of amino acids that are involved in muscle building, metabolism and immune function.

A breakdown of some of the body composition benefits whey protein can offer:

  1. It stimulates fat burning and has a greater thermic effect than other supplemental protein, which means when you consume it you burn more calories.
  2. Taking it regularly can significantly improve blood sugar tolerance and insulin sensitivity, even in diabetics.
  3. It can reduce the cravings of high fat, high carb foods.


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