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Unlock the Power of Protein Intake to Lose Belly Fat

It’s time to unlock the power of protein to help lose belly fat


This article may contain affiliate links, written by a guest writer.

protein sources

Protein is necessary for supporting fat loss and reducing the loss of lean muscle mass that could otherwise impact the overall quality of life and the body’s everyday functions. This macronutrient in animal and plant-based foods is responsible for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. When prioritised for fat loss, it can instigate satiety to decrease appetite and, therefore, calorie intake.  


Are you looking to begin your fat loss journey and lose some unwanted belly fat? Read this article to learn more about protein's significant impact on how you can lose weight on your belly.


health body, woman holding stomach


The Journey of Fat Loss: Genetics & Spot-Reducing

Before we detail the optimal protein intake for losing weight, it’s essential to understand that spot-reducing body fat is not applicable. Though a proper caloric deficit paired with resistance training is crucial for getting rid of body fat and maintaining lean muscle mass, genetics widely determine where our body detracts fat from for energy and where it is distributed. Some individuals may find that they lose more fat in their thighs over their belly or vice versa. 


Research has proven this. One study examined twenty-four healthy sedentary subjects and the effect of target abdominal exercises on abdominal fat. After six weeks, results revealed that targeting belly fat with abdominal-focused exercises was insufficient and did not reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat or affect other body composition features. Another study that lasted twelve weeks came to the same conclusion: spot-reducing body fat was not productive


The Optimal Protein Intake for Losing Belly fat

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), individuals should aim for .73-1g of protein per pound of body weight, while athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight if they are aiming for weight loss. Active individuals require more protein than sedentary individuals in order to support muscle repair and recovery, energy levels, and their body’s demand for amino acids


How to Properly Protein Dose for the Best Results

For the best results in your fat loss journey, incorporate protein dosing throughout each meal. Incorporating at least 20g of protein every four hours or every meal is an effective manoeuvre for hitting a target protein goal. 


Let’s say a 5’6 female who weighs 165 is trying to lose fat. She needs to consume around 112g of protein per day to maintain lean muscle mass and muscle growth and instigate fat loss. If she only eats three meals daily, she must consume almost 40g of protein per meal. 


Adding in high-protein snacks like protein bars and shakes will help boost intake and lower the protein requirement for each meal. Ensuring each meal contains nutritious and high-protein meals will help ensure the target protein goal is acquired.





Importance of a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is vital for several reasons, from supporting the body’s numerous functions to aiding fat loss efforts. 


Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are responsible for forming its structure. There are 20 amino acids in total. Nine are essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the human body and must be consumed through dietary means, and eleven are nonessential amino acids, which can be consumed through dietary means and made by the human body. Any food containing all nine essential amino acids is called a complete protein. 


Examples of Amino Acid-Rich Foods:

  • Quinoa

  • Buckwheat

  • Soy

  • Poultry

  • Fish


Without amino acids, the body cannot synthesize protein and other important compounds like neurotransmitters and creatine. Consuming amino acids through nutritious foods is a requirement for the body to form proteins and function properly. Amino acids boast many sought-after benefits, from promoting fat loss to supporting muscle growth, and BCAAs are especially important for supporting muscle protein synthesis.  


COMPARISON OF BCAA CONTENT IN FOODS PER 100G OF FOOD

FOOD

VALINE

LEUCINE

ISOLEUCINE

Baked Ham

1.437gg

1.695g

1.218g

Chicken Breast (w/o skin)

1.581g

1.955g

1.498g

Lamb

1.818g

1.532

1.625g

Guinea Fowl Breast (w/o skin)

1.024g

2.180g

1.156g

Turkey Breast (w/o skin)

1.112g

2.002g

1.045g

Feta Cheese

1.065g

1.531g

0.803g

Sardines

1.268g

1.643g

1.134g


Though protein has many important functions in the body, this macronutrient is especially vital for aiding muscle repair and promoting satiety during a fat-loss phase.


Breakfast is constantly emphasised as the most important meal of the day, even still, many individuals choose to skip breakfast. One study examined the benefits of consuming a high-protein breakfast and discovered that it improved satiety, positively impacted diet quality, and reduced food motivation towards unhealthy evening snacking. 


Examples of High Protein Foods:

  • Lentils

  • Meat (chicken, beef, etc)

  • Greek yogurt

  • Fish


The Benefit of Supplements for Fat Loss

Numerous supplements can be useful in supporting fat loss efforts, from pre-workouts to creatine supplements.  


For example, a protein powder for weight loss will contain ingredients that promote fat loss and support lean muscle mass maintenance. It will be a macro-friendly protein powder with low calories and high protein content, making it a seamless addition to a caloric deficit promoting fat loss. A high-protein diet aids muscle protein synthesis for muscle growth, maintenance, and recovery while instigating satiety in appetite to reduce cravings and post-meal hunger. 


Picking a supplement that works best for your lifestyle and goals can be very helpful in supporting your fat loss journey and future success! 


Final Thoughts

Many benefits are associated with protein, including when emphasised for fat loss. From helping promote satiety and reduce hunger cravings to stimulating muscle protein synthesis and boosting muscle recovery and growth, how much protein you consume can make or break your fat loss efforts. 



If you are interested in losing weight and need support. of registered dietitian or nutritionist start your weight loss journey with our free nutrition assessment or book a free discovery call and speak to us today.







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