What are the best protein sources to lose weight, build muscle, get lean and ripped. In this post I explain what foods are best for losing weight, burning fat, and losing some inches off of that belly.
Best Protein Sources to Lose Weight, Build Muscle, & Get Lean & Ripped Foods to eat to Burn Belly fat weight
In an effort to find the best protein sources to lose weight, burn fat, and lose some inches off of that belly I compared sources of protein on three different levels. I learned a lot through these comparisons so I’m pretty sure you’re going to learn something new in this post.
For the first comparison I compared the bio-availability of various different protein sources. Bio-availability is a representation of the percentage of just how much our bodies can make use of certain protein sources. Basically our bodies can use and absorb certain protein sources better than others. According to the bio-availability index we got whey protein at the top, followed by whole eggs, cows milk, egg whites, and fish.
Now just because our bodies can absorb a lot of the protein from milk, assuming you’re not lactose intolerant that is, doesn’t mean that milk is the solution to fat loss. This is just one very important comparison that has to be drawn because the best sources of protein for fat loss should also help you maintain muscle mass. Obviously, it’s going to be tough getting enough protein from peanuts because it’s so low on the bio availability scale.
For the next comparison I wanted to see which protein sources spike insulin the highest. Yes, protein can spike insulin levels in your body just like carbohydrates can. Most people don’t know that protein is insulinogenic, but it is and some protein like whey protein can really spike your insulin pretty high. You may be wondering why is this important.
Well it’s important because the most significant factor in fat storage is the level of insulin in the blood. Insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat cells from releasing fat for energy. There was a study done by David Mendosa, in which they tested 38 foods and found that glycemic and insulin scores were highly correlated. However, what’s interesting is that protein-rich foods and bakery products elicited insulin responses that were disproportionately higher than their glycemic responses.
In case you don’t know the glycemic index is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood glucose. So it makes sense that these two numbers would correlate because if something spikes your blood sugar you need a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar levels back down. But certain protein sources seem to not have this correlation.
This study found some foods such as meat, fish, and eggs that contain no carbohydrates, just protein and fat (and essentially have a glycemic index value of zero), still stimulate significant rises in blood insulin. The insulin index is a new area of study so this is not one that I have a direct answer to, but it’s interesting to note that whey protein can spike your insulin levels very high.
The insulin will funnel the blood sugar to the liver where it can be stored as fat. This doesn’t mean that whey protein is awful for you when trying to lose weight, it just depends when you have it. If you have a random whey protein shake in the middle of the day or for breakfast it may not help you with weight loss, especially if you have it with fruit or milk. However, if you have that directly after a workout the insulin spike can help you funnel the glycogen to your muscles rather than ultimately ending up in your fat cells.
Check out my client Christina’s transformation where he lost a whole bunch of fat.
For the last comparison, I compared the macronutrient splits in different sources of protein. This will help us see how much protein we are getting for a given number of calories. Remember that insulin is what stores fat not fat. So just because we have fat that comes with a protein source doesn’t mean that it’s bad for fat loss.
In fact, fat is necessary to produce many of the important hormones that we need for optimal fat loss. I want to just compare a couple different sources of protein starting with chicken breast and cod fish. Chicken breast, cod, and other low-fat fish is made up of 93% protein, 0% carbs, and 7% fat. Beans are made up of 25% Protein 72% carbs and 3% fat. Eggs are 29% Protein 2% carbs and 69% Fat. As you can see each of these sources that I picked leans more heavily toward one macronutrient than the rest. Cod and Chicken breast leans heavily toward the protein macro.
Whole eggs are mostly made up of fat and beans are mostly made up of carbs. When looking at protein sources in this way you can say that beans are a good source of carbohydrates that are high in protein, but they mainly provide carbohydrates. The same goes for eggs except that they are mainly a source of fat. Of course, this is different when it comes to egg whites. Egg whites are primarily a source of protein.
So, what does all of this mean? Well it means that the best protein sources to lose weight depends on the given situation. Cheese may not be one of the best protein sources to lose weight according to this last comparison because the amount of protein that you get out of cheese for the amount of calories in that cheese. Due to the high fat content may not be worth it to have cheese and it may not fit into your plan.
Of course, on the other hand if you aren’t having any fat in your diet at all cheese may help you lose weight because fat is necessary for optimal weight loss hormone production. Is whey protein one of the best protein sources to lose weight since it ranks the highest on the bio-availability scale? Well it depends when you’re having it because it is also very insulinogenic, so if you’re not having it directly after your workout it can be stored as fat. So, a lot of this depends on what your diet looks like and when you plan to consume these protein sources.
What you have to know when choosing the perfect protein for burning belly fat is that protein sources like cod, flounder or chicken breast are low fat and are a great way to get a lot of protein into your diet without overdoing it on too many calories.
Whey protein is one of the most insulinogenic forms of protein which can be a huge advantage if taken at the end of your workout because of the insulin spike and the high bioavailability, but could also be a huge disadvantage if you’re drinking it at random points throughout the day
And high fat sources of protein like whole eggs, steak, and nuts are very calorie dense which could lead you to over consuming calories and not losing weight. However, the fat found in these foods is critical to regulating your hormones properly so you can lose fat.
The bottom line is don’t stick to just one source of protein, mix it up while making sure that you balance out your macros and that you’re not having liquid meals such as protein shakes at random points of the day.