People tend to automatically link protein supplements with a very specific type of individual. Specifically, we think of big, muscle-bound gym goers pounding down gallons of the stuff at a time. This seems like a natural connection because, in the minds of most people, protein is how you gain weight. The truth is, though, that protein can effectively improve body composition – which is a very clinical way of saying that it can increase muscle while cutting body fat. Let’s take a closer look at the science and see how you can put this revelation to good use.
Building a Bigger Engine
Here’s something you absolutely need to know before moving forward: Your muscles are made of protein. Basically, at least. In reality, it’s much more complicated than that but this explanation will work fine for our purposes.
And – although you probably don’t like to think about it like this – each and every workout damages your muscles. Fortunately, it’s that damage that stimulates your muscles to grow bigger and stronger. But this growth can only happen if your body has enough protein. Who cares, though? Isn’t this post supposed to be about losing weight, not building muscle?
Consider this: muscle is actively burning calories, all day every day. Not only that, but muscle has a definite shape. Fat, on the other hand, is totally inactive and nebulous. It does absolutely nothing. Building muscle, then, is a perfect way to make long-lasting improvements to your metabolism, which will help you lose weight – and keep it off.
To accomplish this, though, you need to be providing your body with adequate protein.
A particularly interesting study, published in 2005 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, set out to see why high-protein diets work for weight loss. To get an answer, they divided 19 subjects into three dietary groups. Two of the groups had restricted calorie intake, while the last group – given a 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbohydrate – were allowed to eat as much or as little as they wanted.
At the end of the 12-week program, the group who had been given free-reign over their diet still lost more weight than the other two groups. Think about that: They ate exactly as much as they wanted a successfully lost weight. That sounds much better than most “diets” out there. The theory is that a high-protein diet has a greater impact on leptin, making you feel fuller than other macronutrient profiles.
Sticking To The Good Stuff
But this information is not a license for you to go crazy with red meat, neglecting all things green. Instead, pick lean proteins – like fish, chicken and beans – that have plenty of protein but very littler fat.
If you can’t get enough protein via traditional foods, or just have a hard time finding a chance to cook for yourself, you might consider using a meal replacement or protein supplement. Both Gnarly Feast and Gnarly Whey contain high-quality, organic protein that will give you a convenient dose of exactly what you need. Visit the linked product pages to learn more about each.