Reducing the number of calories in your diet can lead to the loss of fat. But if you want to lose fat AND increase or keep your muscle mass, decreasing the calorie intake is not enough. The best way to do both, lose fat and keep your muscle mass, is by consuming proteins.
Proteins are macromolecules that contain amino acids. Proteins are a vital source of nourishment for the human body. Proteins help to increase our bodies’ tissue and muscles and are a source of fuel.
How much protein do we need?
Torey Armul, a registered and licensed dietician from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, conducted her study on women in particular. She confirms the benefits of proteins, but also advises against an exaggerated protein diet because an increased protein intake means weight gain. The dietician estimated that women who both want to lose weight and increase their muscle mass should consume 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. If we were to give an example, a woman that has a weight of 145 pounds (around 65 kg) needs around 72-116 grams of protein daily.
Torey Armul further offers a recommendation about the foods a woman should eat in order to stay within her necessary quantity of protein. Healthy foods are recommended, along with whole foods. Supplements should rather be avoided as they do not contain healthy ingredients. Healthy food is composed of proteins that are great and also nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. These good proteins and nutrients help in preserving the muscles in good condition, while regulate the weight.
While the most of us believe that proteins can be found only in animal meats, plants also contain proteins, which can be even better than the others for our bodies. The dietician advises all women to consume nuts, beans, eggs, dairy, poultry fish and, especially, legumes.
All these foods must be consumed while working out frequently in order to achieve your goal.