Protein cannot actually burn fat- only your body has this capability. That said, your body does burn calories during digestion –you burn more calories digesting protein than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Protein also slows emptying of the stomach, helping you feel fuller longer. The amount of lean quality protein in your diet is an important aspect influencing your metabolic rate toward weight loss. Quality protein also helps you sustain muscle during weight loss, improve muscle fitness, immunity, and antioxidant function, build HDL cholesterol (the happy one), and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which contribute toward optimal weight management efforts over time.
When planning your healthy meals, keep in mind that 10 to 35 percent of your daily food intake should be lean protein. For women, that’s 46 grams a day; for men, 56 grams.
Kimberly Young, M.S. is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her integrative and functional approach to diet and nutrition at kyoungnutrition.com