Fat Loss Nutrition

The Thermic Effect Of Food And Weight Loss: Why Protein Is King

I know what you might be thinking. Lose weight with protein? I want to get smaller, not get bulkier!

This is a common misconception I’ve run into so many times when training clients for the past decade. They see protein and protein shakes as something only associated with bodybuilders and ultra bulky athletes.

We need to put an end to this myth once and for all.

Ladies, getting enough protein will NOT make you big and bulky. Far from it!

Protein is an essential component of weight loss. You could argue it’s the most important macronutrient for losing weight and achieving a leaner body.

It may sound confusing, but I promise I’ll explain. Let’s talk about why you need protein to lose weight and tone up.

The Thermic Effect of Food

Kami working out with ropes

Every food you eat has something called a thermic effect. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is determined by how many calories your body uses to digest and metabolize it.

Protein is one of three macronutrients your body needs every day. The other two are carbohydrates and fats. Your body needs large amounts of each of these nutrients to survive and thrive.

When it comes to TEF, protein is king. You burn more calories and use more energy digesting protein than you use digesting carbs or fats.

As a general rule, you burn up to 30 percent of the consumed calories in foods that are high in lean protein when you process them.

So if you eat 100 calories of protein, your body will burn around 30 of those calories without you even having to think about it. (Fats burn approximately 3 calories and carbs burn 5-10 calories to digest).

Protein for Weight Loss

Kami Training In the Gym

There really isn’t a downside when it comes to protein and weight loss. But in case you need more convincing, consider the following benefits reported by Authority Nutrition:

1. Protein can reduce appetite and hunger levels.

2. Protein can increase muscle mass and strength.

3. Protein is good for your bones.

4. Protein can reduce cravings and late night snacking.

5. Protein can boost metabolism and Increase fat burning.

6. Protein can lower your blood pressure.

7. Protein can help you lose weight and keep it off.

8. Protein can help your body repair itself after an injury.

9. Protein can help you keep fit as you get older.

With all those benefits, it’s hard to imagine a downside to upping your protein intake.

IdealShake weight loss shakes make it super easy to get your protein in without even thinking about it. With tons of delicious flavors each packing 11 grams of protein, it’s hard to go wrong.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Trainer Kami drinking high protein IdealShake post-workout.

There are lots of different formulas floating around to help you figure out how much protein you need, and sometimes it can be confusing to know which information to trust!

I’ve been in the health, fitness and weight loss industry for over 10 years now and this is what I recommend: Consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight for those that weigh under 160 pounds.

For those that weigh over 160 pounds, you can figure out how much protein you should get by using the following information:

  • 160-190 lbs = .9 g/per pound of bodyweight
  • 190-225 lbs = .8 g/per pound of bodyweight
  • 225 -250 lbs = .7g/per pound of bodyweight
  • Over 250 lbs = .6 g/per pound of bodyweight

For those that weigh over 160 pounds, just multiply the specific amounts of protein above by your bodyweight

If you’re wondering how to figure out the amount of protein in any given food, the answer is easy: check the nutrition label.

It’s always on there. In the case of fruits, veggies, meats and other foods that don’t have labels a quick internet search should be able to give you the answers you need.

Sources of ProteinTwo eggs and some protein powder

Protein is found in nearly every food, but it’s higher in some foods than others.

For example, a Big Mac packs a 25-gram protein punch, but it also includes a ton of unhealthy fats, a lot of sodium, and even sugar. You can get your protein from much healthier sources like…

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, and eggs
  • Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and lean, grass-fed beef.
  • Seafood including salmon, shellfish, tilapia, tuna, cod, and halibut
  • Meal replacement shakes like IdealShake

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you’ll be better off getting your protein from healthier choices than a Big Mac.

If you’re trying to lose weight and up your protein without adding extra calories, consider using a meal replacement shake to help you meet your dieting and protein needs. IdealShake meal replacement shakes offer 11 grams of whey protein per serving, and also features a power hunger-blocking ingredient to keep you feeling full for hours!

If you make smoothies with your IdealShake, you can also mix in 99 (or more) other healthy ingredients for weight loss and other health benefits.

The Best Source of Protein

Trainer Kami and Zac drinking meal replacement shakes

It’s important to note that some proteins are better than others.

Right now, in the health, fitness and weight loss industries, it’s all about whey protein.

Whey is the watery part of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese, and whey protein is the protein produced from that whey.

It has been proven to help suppress appetite and has been linked to many other health benefits, including:

  • Building and strengthening muscles.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Positively impacting blood sugar and diabetes.
  • Reducing swelling and inflammation.
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Promoting fat loss.
  • Boosting metabolism.

Unless you have a milk allergy, whey really is the highest quality protein you can consume!

Got Protein?

Protein really can be your best friend when it comes to weight loss.

It’s what I like to call my “secret weapon” when it comes to getting lean and maintaining a healthy weight.

It’s not going to make you bulk up or get fat. Instead, it’s going to help you meet your weight loss goals faster than you ever thought possible. Trust me on this one.

Instead, it’s going to help you meet your weight loss goals faster than you ever thought possible. Trust me on this one.

Now go ahead and enjoy some protein!



Kami Price

Kami Price

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Kami Price is the Head Trainer for IdealShape. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a Pn.1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Instructor. Kami has been in the fitness world for over 10 years and prior to joining IdealShape owned one of the biggest private gyms in Utah.


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