The Effects of Protein on Weight Loss

by Arizona Medifast

For those who are attempting to lose weight through the use of a weight loss and workout plan, protein is the single most important calorie that can be eaten. The amount of protein in the body’s system will directly affect how the body is creating energy, which in turn will directly determine just how much weight is lost from exercise. Large amounts of protein in the diet during a weight-loss program will greatly help the body burn off unwanted fat, while developing and retaining muscle mass.

How much Protein is good for one’s Diet?

People who are attempting to lose weight through the use of a workout plan that has a nutrition component should eat about three-fourths of their target body weight in grams of protein, capping at three-fourths of their current body weight. Each gram of protein clocks in at 4 calories; making the ideal daily amount of protein around 135g (A person weighing 200lb should be eating between 480-600 calories of protein a day, which is 120-150 grams).

Eating protein also directly reduces the total caloric intake for the day. The body uses between 20 to 30 calories of protein to burn 100 calories of protein, compared to only about 4 or 5 used calories for 100 calories of carbs.

When one is on the Medifast program, this proportion is already figured out for participants. There is no need to count calories or quantify protein. The meal replacements already take care of that!

Why is Protein so Important for Weight Loss?

The effects of quality protein on weight loss during a workout program are significant. Protein is directly responsible for shedding pounds as it becomes the primary energy source that causes the body to burn stored fat. While this may make some patients think they need to eat as much protein as possible, it is still important to balance protein intake with other carbs and nutrients. This will help develop and retain muscle mass while weight is lost.

Protein is also the source of a number of required amino acids for the body. Each of these 8 acids plays a different role in weight loss, but work in unison to significantly boost how many pounds are lost. Nutritional plans that do not include these amino acids (all obtainable through protein) are actively diminishing the potential weight that can be lost.

The effects of Protein on Weight Loss

There is an order of tissues that the body uses as sources of energy. First and foremost of these are carbs, followed by protein. The body will only begin to burn stored fat when carbs and protein are present to act as fuel.

When protein isn’t present in the body, it will begin to consume other tissues for energy. The first tissue used in this process is muscle mass, which the body will break down into protein and convert to carbs. These carbs, now derived from muscle mass, will be used to burn fat meaning that muscle mass will be lost in addition to fat. Having protein in the body will present this process, allowing the body to burn stored fat while creating and retaining muscle mass. This additional muscle mass will further serve the body by assisting in the burning of calories.

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