Now you’ve read The One Way to Lose Bodyfat, you know why counting calories is such a powerful tool for fat loss.
Haven’t read it yet?
Then take a couple of minutes to check it out – don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now counting calories isn’t 100 % perfect, but it’s incredibly valuable nonetheless.
Anyone that has done it will tell you the same thing.
What you think you’re consuming and what you’re actually consuming can be poles apart.
We also discovered something else awesomely powerful: not all calories are created equal.
Our bodies don’t treat 100 Calories from fat the same way they do 100 Calories from protein or 100 Calories from carbohydrate.
Now that’s something we’re going to use to stack the deck in our favor and help turbocharge fat loss.
So buckle up.
Kind of like a credit card, each of the macronutrients (fats, carbs and protein) has its own “transaction fee”.
Think of this as the processing “cost” to the body since digestion and absorption always require energy.
After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Now here’s how those “transaction fees” typically stack up:
Fat: 3 %
Carbohydrate: 7 %
Protein: 25 %
So, if we consume 1000 Calories from fat, the body will “see” around 970 of those Calories.
And if we consume 1000 Calories from carbs, the body will “see” around 930 of those Calories.
But if we consume 1000 Calories from protein, the body will “see” only around 750 of those Calories.
In other words, it costs the body a full 250 Calories to process that protein.
That’s the equivalent energy to a 200-lb man walking more than two miles!
And the reality is it’s way easier to reduce caloric intake by making small adjustments to what we eat than it is to burn off calories by exercising.
So here’s the bottom line.
For the same overall caloric intake, consuming a greater proportion of those calories from protein leads to greater energy expenditure.
And a greater energy expenditure is going to push fat loss in the right direction.
Chalk up a win for protein!
But I’m Not Hungry!
Now that may sound cool enough, but protein has another neat little trick up its sleeve.
In addition to boosting energy expenditure, increasing protein intake also makes us less likely to consume more food.
Why? Because protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients.
In other words, it makes you feel fuller for longer.
That’s the reason why a sirloin steak makes you feel satisfied, while the equivalent calories from shots and beer don’t.
Of course, you can lose weight without giving up alcohol.
But not feeling hungry is a huge deal when you’re dropping a few pounds, so it’s important to keep protein intake high.
In fact, it’s been found that low-carb diets are effective not because of the low carbs, it’s actually the high protein!
What happens is that when people cut down on carbs, they spontaneously increase protein consumption.
After all, they have to eat something.
The upshot is they’re “seeing” fewer of the calories they consume, and they’re also consuming fewer calories in the first place because they don’t feel hungry.
Another big win for protein!
Protein is Protein Sparing
Maintaining muscle mass (around here we prefer “increasing”) is really important as we get older.
Now this isn’t about showing off at the pool or the beach – the game we’re playing has much higher stakes than that.
That’s because Mother Nature has fixed it so we start losing muscle mass and strength sometime in our 40s.
So anything we can do to prevent all that evil stuff is a good idea, and it’s why strength training is the fountain of youth.
And you want to know something else really scary?
The Centers for Disease Control has a blanket recommendation of 56 g of protein per day for all males aged 19 or over.
Even though that level of intake has been shown to allow muscle loss when folks aren’t even dieting.
Fortunately, having a high level of protein consumption helps to put the brakes on that.
And if you’ve ever heard that weird phrase “protein is protein sparing”, that’s what it’s talking about.
Consuming more protein means that your body doesn’t cannibalize your muscles for the protein they contain.
Now that’s really important stuff.
But it doesn’t end there.
Having more muscle mass also puts a greater energy demand on the body – just like a bigger engine needs more gasoline.
That means you burn through more calories since muscle is “expensive” for the body to maintain.
Each pound of muscle mass “costing” the body around 6 Calories per day.
Not a titanic amount, but well worth taking advantage of.
Every little helps.
Putting it into Action
If we want to lose fat, maintain muscle mass and be just plain more awesome, we need to be eating a lot more protein than the government recommends.
How much? Figure on 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
So, a 200-lb man should consume 200 grams of protein daily.
And don’t worry, there’s zero evidence that this level of intake causes kidney problems for people with normally functioning kidneys.
Now, what does 200 grams of protein look like in terms of real, actual food?
OK, that’s actually 208 grams of protein, but you get the point.
Eating this much protein from regular food could be one giant PITA.
That’s why we should make up any protein shortfall with an inexpensive whey protein powder.
Here’s my personal favorite right now: EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate
A 2-lb tub retails for around $29, and contains 23 servings of 26 grams of protein.
That’s 26 grams of protein for only around $1.25!
There’s no preparation time, you can take it anywhere and it actually tastes really good.
Now if you can hit your target daily protein intake by eating things like steak, fish and our best ever chili, that’s awesome.
But if you can’t, a whey protein powder is a wise investment.
It will allow you to get in sufficient protein both easily and cheaply.
And that will really turbocharge your fat loss.
Share this article with your friends!