The Best Food for Weight Loss
Want to know the best food for weight loss? In a world of elixirs, magic potions, and super supplements, the answer may surprise you. With all our advancements in science, much hasn’t changed in the world of sports science. For every new wacky home workout DVD that is created, nothing can replace the squat and chin up as the respective king/queen of total body exercises.
Much like exercise, the best weight loss foods hasn’t changed much. To help you lose weight, the best food is….(drum roll please)…..
That’s right: that Greek yogurt sitting in your fridge can do far more for your physique than the world’s most expensive supplement. Protein is so important that it’s one of the first things we tackle when a new client comes in and submits their food log. As clients get in shape and develop some additional lean mass, guess what we do? We up their protein intake so they can continue to build the body they want.
Here’s why it’s so important: protein has what we call a very high “thermic effect.” This means that your metabolism has to work even harder to break the protein down; it’s estimated that protein can elevate your metabolism by 25%!. For comparison sakes, that bowl of oatmeal will only boost your metabolic rate by about 5%, and fat intake has pretty much no effect whatsoever.
Researchers decided to take this to the test: they divided subjects into two groups. One group had a moderate intake of protein while another group had a slightly higher group. Both groups actually dropped some weight, but it was the higher intake group that had significant changes in muscle mass, bodyweight, and reductions in bodyfat (1). In another interesting study, researchers found that eating a meal high in protein elevated their resting metabolic rate up to 7 hours after eating (3)!
This is why nearly every major supermarket chain carries protein; even gas stations have a wide array of ready to eat drinks and bars. Protein is so vital to your weight loss goals that scientists have stated that the protein source, timing of ingestion, and the amino acid composition of the protein can effect your metabolism (2).
In practical terms, our clients lose a steady 1-2 pounds per week as long as they follow their protein intake. We teach them to build each meal around their protein of choice.
Your best bet is to follow a diet of lean proteins: sirloin, tenderloins, and chicken breast work well. For those who avoid meat, you can take advantage of the protein in egg whites and Greek yogurt. Lastly, vegans can benefit from pea and hemp proteins. Regardless of your lifestyle choices, spend your money on protein (and not supplements) and you’ll start working toward the physique that you’ve always wanted.
1. Soenen, S. Martens, E.A.P, Hochstenbach-Walen, A., et al. “Normal Protein Intake is Required for Body Weight Loss and Weight Management, and Elevated Protein Intake for Additional Preservation of Resting Energy Expenditure and Fat Free Mass.” (2013). Journal of Nutrition.143:5, 591-596
2. Churchward-Venne, T.A., Burd, N.A., Phillips, S.M.”Nutritional Regulation of Muscle Protein Synthesis With Resistance Exercise: Strategies to Enhance Anabolism.” 2012. Nutrition and Metabolism 9;40
3. Crovetti, R, et al. “The Influence of Thermic Affect of Food on Satiety.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1998. (52): 482-488