Hi Guys,

I am on a weight loss journey, I have cut out any non naturally occurring sugars, I am eating a very low fat diet that is high in vegetables and fruit. I have also cut down the amount of meat I eat and have been eating more fish and vegetarian meals.

What I would like to ask is should I be eating more protein for weight loss? I am biking 11 miles a day at the moment and that is helping considerably.

Thanks in advance for any advice :)

7 Replies

  • HI Clarecoxy,

    There is some information about a healthy balanced diet in this link, which is from the NHS Choices website:

    I hope that helps, and good luck with your goals.

    Lowcal :-)

  • help!

  • Are you ok, Loloolol?

  • Protein is needed to maintain healthy body function, especially to build muscles and repair and damage, but we need a lot less than many people think. It is useful in weight loss as it makes us feel full for longer and excess converts to fat slower than other forms of food. How much depends upon your own specific BMR and the link Lowcal suggests will help you decide, but I have protein twice a day, one serving being about two eggs, or 100g lean meat. 😊 Also, don't be too afraid of fat, we need some fat in our diet for good health and it makes food taste good 😊

    Good luck 😊

  • The quick answer is no Clarecoxy. Excess protein is easily turned to glucose with harmful side products including ammonia and urea. Endurance athletes need more natural fat. Tim Noakes became type 2 despite eating a 'healthy diet' and has come to realise that carbohydrate was overemphasised, not least because burning body-fat releases carbohydrate backbones from the triglyceride molecules too.

    Also, lean protein is the fastest way to deplete vitamin A from the liver; we need natural fat to accompany protein, with too many carbs or too much protein being toxic, and natural fat being relatively inert (although too much of anything is bad by definition).

  • When attempting to lose weight, the consumption of lean protein is important, largely to ensure that existing muscle mass is maintained and that growth and repair continues, but its daily consumption doesn’t need to be excessive.

    Provided that protein accounts for 30-35% of daily intake, you’ll be providing the body with more than enough to support weight loss goals without the unnecessary concern that too much is being eaten.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned that you’ve opted to eat more fish in place of meat, either, particularly since the protein content in 100g of salmon is largely on a par with that of a chicken breast, whilst also possessing a higher content of beneficial omega oils.

    Although you may have opted for vegetarian meals (alongside fish) provided that eggs, nuts, yoghurt and whey powder are also included in your daily diet, you’ll be eating sufficient complete sources (where all the amino acids are present) to compensate for the fact that vegetarian sources (with the exception of quinoa and soy) possess limiting amino acids.

    Rest assured, you can achieve your weight loss goals, in addition to developing a body to be proud of, without the consumption of animal meat.

    Given that you’re cycling in excess of 10 miles a day, on the assumption that your effort in the saddle challenges the aerobic energy system, eventually pushing the body towards exercising its anaerobic system (think HIIT), a greater mix of glycogen and fat will be burned throughout the endeavour, resulting in a continued improvement in body composition, largely due to increased insulin sensitivity.

    Increased insulin sensitivity means that carbohydrate consumed afterwards is delivered to depleted muscles (to replenish) far more easily and not stored as fat. If ever you wondered why regular exercise is heavily recommended to type II diabetic sufferers (as a means of reducing levels of glucose in the blood) now you know why.

    Moreover, in order to replenish depleted glycogen reserves, you’ll need to ensure that complex carbohydrate (beans, pulses and lentils) remains part of your diet.

    Regardless of your chosen split, it’d be worth consulting macronutrient calculators, in order to ascertain how many calories should be consumed between the respective food groups, taking into consideration that protein and fat each contain 4Kcal per gram and that fat contains 9Kcal per gram.

    Additionally, if you’ve not already done so, you’d do no harm to research BMR and TDEE calculators, either, since both are largely accurate in determining how many calories are required to satisfy both, based upon measurements (age/weight/height and level of activity).

    When introducing a daily calorie deficit, seek to deduct it from your TDEE, ensuring that any deficit introduced doesn’t take you below BMR.

    By consuming sufficient calories to satisfy BMR, you’ll ensure that metabolism continues to fire, thus, allowing the body to utilise calories (stored in existing fat) to meet energy demand (TDEE).

  • *Correction: Taking into consideration that protein and carbohydrate each contain 4Kcal per gram and that fat contains 9Kcal per gram*