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How Protein Can Help Boost Your Metabolism to Burn More Calories

Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids that are essential to building and repairing tissues in the body, including muscle tissue. You’re about to learn 2 ways protein can help boost your metabolism.

1. High Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy required to digest, absorb, and metabolize nutrients from the foods you eat. Of all the macronutrients which includes carbohydrates and fats, protein has the highest TEF.

TEF Comparisons

Below are the cost in total energy for digesting each macronutrient:

Protein 20-30%

Carbohydrates 5-10%

Fat 0-3%

This means for every 100 calories of protein eaten, you will burn 20-30 calories.

Simply by eating more protein in your diet, you will be able to boost your metabolism and that’s without any exercise.

However, this is not the only reason to include more protein in your diet. The next reason is arguably even more essential to boosting your metabolism. 

2. Building and Preserving Muscle Mass

Protein is also important for building and maintaining muscle tissue, which burns more calories than other tissues at rest.

But of course, you need to lift weights to build muscle.

When you combine eating more protein with lifting weights, you can build and maintain muscle mass.

This is important not only if you want to look toned, but because muscle helps you burn more calories at rest compared to fat.

Imagine burning more calories without moving.

How many more calories you can burn?

Muscle burns 13.2 calories per kg*

Fat burns 4.4 calories per kg*

*Kg of bodyweight

1kg of muscle burns 300% more calories compared to 1kg of fat at rest, or you get a net increase of 76% in energy expenditure per 1kg of muscle compared to fat.

How much protein?

Based on per Kg bodyweight.

Optimal health: 1.2 -1.6g/kg

Gaining muscle/prevent muscle loss: 1.6g – 2.2g/kg

Overall, incorporating adequate protein into a balanced diet can support a healthy metabolism and weight management.


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