This is a question we are asked all the time by women trying to lose weight. Protein supplements are associated as only being for men who want to get huge muscles and therefore many women think that consuming protein supplements will make them suddenly develop big muscles.
To get big muscles you need to constantly overload them with time under tension and strength training. If you are not doing that, you won’t suddenly grow huge muscles.
In fact, a high protein diet is great when you are trying to gain or lose weight. Remember to gain weight you MUST consume more calories than you use, to lose weight you MUST consume less calories than you use. Having a high protein diet has many positive effects for people aiming to lose weight.
We recommend consuming 2 grams of protein per 1 kg of bodyweight, so a 70kg person should consume 140g of protein per day.
There is some science backed reasons to have a high protein diet when trying to lose weight:
- A higher protein intake increases levels of appetite-reducing hormones while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
- Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats, that means it takes a higher percentage of calories to process protein.
- For several reasons, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism. By making you burn more calories, high protein diets seem to have a “metabolic advantage” over low protein diets.
- High protein consumption reduces hunger and appetite. This helps when restricting calorie intake, this helps make it easier to cut calories compared to low protein diets.
- Protein helps to reduce muscle loss when on a calorie deficit. The aim is to lose body fat, rather than muscle, losing muscle is a side effect of weight loss that most people don’t want.
- Another side effect of losing weight is that the metabolic rate tends to decrease. Eating plenty of protein can reduce muscle loss, which should help keep your metabolic rate higher as you lose body fat
If you are trying to lose weight it is difficult to argue against having a high protein diet as it has so many benefits.
Aim to have 2 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight every day and make up the remaining calories with carbohydrates and fat. Everyone is different so try different ratios and find what