Protein for Weight Loss: What’s the Magic Number?

June 27, 2017 /  No Replies

If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s one simple rule that’s sure to help you reach your goals: calories in < calories out. However, while maintaining a calorie deficit is key to losing weight, the macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) you take in are also crucial. Specifically, researchers and nutrition experts have recently been weighing in on the benefits of getting the right amount of protein as they relate specifically to weight loss.

Why Protein?

If you’ve been under the impression that protein is only important for those looking to build muscle, think again! While protein is an essential building block of muscle, it can also help you on your weight loss journey. Specifically, eating protein can help you feel fuller longer, which is key to cutting back on snacking and empty calories between meals. This means you may be able to eat less while still feeling satiated.

How Much Do You Need?

At the same time, it’s important to understand that for most people, the body can only absorb about 20 to 30 grams of protein at any given time. And if you eat more than your body can properly absorb, your body may decide to instead store it as fat. Not to mention, this also means you may not be getting enough healthy fats or complex carbs in your diet.

Finding the perfect balance of macronutrients in your diet isn’t easy, but it’s key to not only losing weight, but keeping it off as well. And while everybody’s specific nutrition needs are different based on metabolism, starting weight, and goal weight, most nutrition experts believe that keeping your protein intake to around 20 to 30 grams per meal is ideal for weight loss.

Best Sources of Protein

So, where should you get your protein? There are plenty of options to consider. For breakfast, eggs are an excellent source of protein, whereas whole grains (like bread) and legumes make for a great lunch protein option. For dinner, consider a side of leafy green salad to get your recommended 20 to 30 grams.

When you first begin watching your daily nutrient intake, it may be challenging to balance your macronutrients. Over time, however, you should find that it becomes easier as you become more informed on the nutrients found in your go-to foods. From there, you can achieve that ideal balance for sustained weight loss!


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