Protein is a subject of much debate in regards to healing insulin resistance and improving performance.
These are different discussions that many times get crossed up in how people apply different guidelines.
First things first.
We need protein. After water, protein is the main component of cells and is essential to life. Protein is used to build and maintain these parts of our body:
- Muscles: Those responsible for movement and the muscles around our organs and our heart.
- Collagen: Provides strength and structure to tissues (e.g. cartilage in joints).
- Skin, hair, and nails: These are mainly composed of protein.
- Hemoglobin: Transports oxygen around the body.
- Hormones: Act as your body’s chemical messengers.
- Enzymes: Regulate metabolism – they support important chemical reactions that allow you to digest food, generate energy to contract muscles, and regulate insulin production.
- Antibodies: Play a role in your immunity.
- Protein can have a positive effect on someone who is trying to improve performance, lose fat, or build muscle.
- Protein is the building block of everything you need for improved performance, health, and longevity.
- It can provide enough nutrients to keep us healthy if we want to limit our fat intake to optimize ketosis and lose body fat.
- The insulinemic effect of protein can assist with building and maintaining muscle, similar to the way carbs do.
- Protein is more satiating. You will feel full with fewer calories and stay full longer
- The more protein you eat the hotter your body runs which could increase body fat loss (Thermogenesis)
Targeting a % of calories for fat and protein on an animal-based diet will set you up for a stall in fat loss and overall progress in many cases. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
What if you just focused on the protein? What if we only counted (fuel calories) from fats and carbs?!?!
This is the idea behind the Protein:Energy Ratio. I use a variant of that concept in my program.
I usually start people at 1g of protein per pound of lean mass. 1:1
This does a few things.
✅ It’s usually more food than they’re used to.
✅ They get full faster
✅ They stay full longer
✅ They don’t need to add fat
✅ They have fewer cravings
✅ Overall fuel calories go down. (Whether total calories do or not)
✅ They lose body fat
✅ They don’t lose muscle
✅ They have a lot less stress over what they eat
1:1 is a great place to start.