During normal weight loss, it’s generally expected that you lose fat and lean body mass in a ratio of about 3 to 1, meaning 25 percent of the loss is not from body fat, but from tissues like muscle.
Muscle tissue acts as a fuel source and stores some fat and carbohydrates, but it’s mostly made up of proteins.
Proteins are responsible for nearly every cellular task. They function to form enzymes, hormones, and tissues.
Protein is essential to life and, if needed, muscle can be broken down to be used in other processes.
Exercise will help you keep muscle during weight loss, but what you eat and when you eat can make a large impact.
Protecting Muscle During Weight Loss
Consumption of protein at higher-than-recommended levels has a number of potential advantages beyond lean mass retention during weight loss.
They include a greater thermogenic effect upon consumption compared with carbohydrate and fat, a greater satiety response, and the potential for greater weight loss and, specifically, fat loss.
Research has shown that higher protein intakes of 25 to 35 percent of energy intake from protein can offset the muscle loss and also promote greater reductions of fat and total body mass compared with normal protein intakes of 12 to 15 percent of energy intake from protein.
This equates to roughly 20 to 40 grams of protein per meal.
For better Quality Weight Loss, you’d want to promote fat loss and not indiscriminately lose weight.
Losing too fast and not getting enough protein daily can lead to substantial muscle loss. But through protein pacing — with multiple high-quality protein meals per day — you’ll more effectively lose fat, not muscle.
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