A situation I come across all too often, is people trying to lose body fat by consuming one or even zero portions of protein per day. This is very common with people who are fixated on losing only scale weight. As specialists in fat loss and body composition, it is very important to us that our clients improve their health and also develop a body shape that they can be proud of. For us to achieve this, protein plays a key part.
Protein is a very controversial topic, but if you study the research you will see that consuming a higher protein diet is actually completely safe for your health. If you’re looking to improve your Body Composition, Health or Sports performance, you’ll find it very hard to achieve these without maintaining optimal levels of protein in your diet.
When we coach someone how to change their body shape, we give them an actual target amount of protein to reach each day. It is important that new habits are fixed in place before we deliver a new one. Working on protein goals is one of the many habits that we teach in our Body Composition Coaching System.
So what do we recommend when we discuss protein intake with our clients?
We suggest that you should be eating protein every 2 – 3 hours. This doesn’t mean eating only three meals a day, this means splitting your meal times into regular feedings.
Eating protein regularly helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, it stimulates your metabolism and it also helps you build vital muscle mass. Muscle mass is key if you want to lower your body fat levels and change your body shape.
What we recommend to our athletes and Personal training clients, is to work on portions sizes rather than being strict about actual weight. A portion of protein is equal to the size of the palm of your hand.
So for a female client, we would recommend one portion of protein (this equates to one medium sized chicken breast).
For a medium build male, we suggest one and a half portions.
For a larger build male, we suggest two portions of protein with each meal.
There is also a little confusion as to the healthiest forms of protein you should be eating. You should try to include lean protein sources with each of your meals. Where possible you should also choose organic and grass-fed protein sources.
What type of protein are we talking about?
Here are a few examples:
- Grass fed lean beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey, venison
- Wild Salmon, Tuna, Cod, Mackerel, sardines
- Omega 3 rich eggs
- Vegetarian/vegan choices
- Tofu, tempeh, soy, beans
- Whey/Casein protein powder counts as a portion of your daily protein serving.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of protein and all the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fat) that help you lose body fat, pick up a copy of our fourteen-day fat loss program.
Any questions regarding this topic please feel free to drop me an email.
Have a great week.
James Burroughs – Athlete & Physique Coach