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Increase Protein Intake for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain


Protein is KING when it comes to putting on mass and dropping body fat.


The amount you need will vary from person to person and be dependent on your goals. As a general rule of thumb, anywhere between 1.6g/kg to 2.4g/kg body weight would suit most individuals. If you train hard or have more body fat to lose, you might opt for the higher end.


As an example, a 100kg male would consume between 160g-240g of protein per day.


Now, this amount may seem high for some, but when we look at the research, this is what works.


The first change you should make to your diet if you are looking to drop body fat and/or put on lean mass would be to increase your quantity (and quality) of protein.


Why?


Well, because protein is known to help the body detoxify and helps to build the immune system. So whether your goal is fat loss or muscle gain, increase your protein.


For fat loss, protein will help to control your insulin levels and by eating more protein you are satisfied for longer and tend to make better choices throughout the day.


Muscle mass is highly correlated to the strength of the immune system and, as most people know, protein helps to repair and restore tissue. So, by simply increasing your protein intake you are able to make some big changes to your body composition and, more importantly, your health.


Eating protein from animals such as meat, poultry, eggs and fish helps strengthen the steroid hormones produced in the adrenals including DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrogen and progesterone. If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue or want to support adrenal function, it would then be a good idea to ensure you are eating sufficient amounts of protein from these sources.


A high protein diet counters the unwanted tissue-wasting effects of glucocorticoids such as cortisol. For anyone who reads a lot of articles, you would have heard of things such as training leads to a catabolic state and protein shakes help make you anabolic again. It is a very basic description as many factors are at play but it is true.


Cortisol, which is your friend when you train, as it gives you energy for your workout, actually breaks down muscle tissue if elevated for an extended period of time. Post-workout, it is a good idea to have some protein to help reduce this tissue breakdown and help you begin your recovery process.


When it comes to growth hormone levels, protein has been shown to stimulate this hormone's activity. You will read studies that say a high protein diet lowers levels of growth hormone in the blood. This is true, but the bioavailability of IGF-1 levels is increased which is a good marker of growth hormone’s action.


Thyroid function needs an optimal amount of protein as too much protein can cause borderline low levels to become more deficient by reducing the conversion of T4 into the more active form T3. Eating a sufficient amount of red meat is needed for thyroid function as the iron found here helps the conversion of T4 into T3. This is why it is important to find the optimal amount of protein for your needs.


What Type of Protein?


When we say “protein” what we are referring to is high-quality grass-fed organic animal food sources or fish. We are not talking about hot dogs and deli meats. The health benefits that can be achieved from eating a high-protein diet come from the high-quality animal food sources mentioned, not the deli meats. The studies you often hear about that claim meat causes cancer and other disease often use poor-quality meats and this is why they find these results.

Often the meats contain hormones and antibiotics, and the meat is grain-fed.


Some good sources of protein include:

• Organ meats

• Kangaroo

• Rump

• Salmon

• Chicken

• Eggs

• Turkey


This short list is by no means extensive, it’s just a good place to start.


If you want to know more about the importance of protein check out our other articles on the website.


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