Want to know the secret for how I put on 10 pounds of muscle in less than a month with little appreciable effort? I ate tons of protein.
And man was it delicious.
For years we’ve been told by the finger-wagging establishment that a calorie-restricted high-carb, low-fat diet is the solution to getting a perfect beach body. Not only is that advice completely back asswards, but it doesn’t even give a by-line to the most important macronutrient for burning fat and building muscle: protein.
Protein Boosts Metabolism
To get calories from any macronutrient (such as fat, carbohydrates or protein), your body needs to spend energy to digest it. The body can access the calories from fat and carbohydrates fairly easily—without breaking a sweat, so to speak. Protein, however, takes 2.5 to 3 times the amount of energy from the body to digest and access the calories as it does to get the same amount of calories from fat or carbs.
Protein literally heats up your body and burns calories for you. Killer.
Protein Makes You Feel Full
You know when you shamelessly binge on Chinese food until you’re stuffed to the gills only to be ravenously hungry an hour later? Wheat, pasta, and other nasty carbs don’t do much as far as making you feel full, despite the fact that they’re giving you gas, destroying your gut, and making you fat.
Protein actually facilitates the message to the body to feel full. When you eat a high-protein, low-carb meal, you feel satiated and stop eating long before you overindulge. People binge on carbs, but how many times have you seen someone binge on jumbo shrimp, greek yogurt, or turkey breast?
Protein Builds – and Maintains – Serious Muscle
If you don’t eat enough protein (or if you don’t lift heavy from time to time), your body will break down your muscle for energy (catabolism). Trust me – long hours of strenuous activity (such as running marathons) will nibble away at your muscle leaving you with a squishy, corpse-like frame. You don’t want this.
Consuming plenty of protein encourages your body to build (anabolism) and retain muscle instead of consuming it for fuel. Eat it.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
As a guideline, eat at least 100 grams a day and up to one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Eating a healthy amount of meat helps you reach this level, as 6 oz. of lean beef or turkey contains upwards of 50 grams and 6 oz. of tuna has 40. In a pinch, unsweetened protein shakes or bars will help you boost your intake considerably, but always prioritize eating real food first.
Don’t be afraid of eating too much protein. Be afraid of eating too little. Protein is totally underrated.
Ok, Protein is in Tuna and Steak. But Where Else Can I Get Some?
Proteins are as delicious as they are nutritious. That creamy smoked salmon, that juicy roasted turkey, those divine poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, the heady wedge of gouda cheese—all have appreciable amounts of protein. You can find healthy doses of protein in meat, fish, dairy, organs, eggs, nuts, beans, legumes and even some vegetables. And don’t be afraid of the fat content of your protein-rich foods. Remember: conventional wisdom isn’t actually wisdom at all – it’s hype. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates do.
So… Eating Steak Burns Fat?
Yup. Dudes, rejoice.
You’d be shocked what other demonized-but-delicious foods will actually help you lose fat and build muscle! Real butter? Coconut fat? Duck Liver Pate? You betchya.
My program reveals eye-opening nutrition secrets and galling realities of the high-carb dieting myth. It’s all laid out in The Fat-Burning Man and The Fat-Burning Woman, and I’m happy to share the love.
In the meantime, stop eating cardboard and enjoy every second of that steak-and-egg breakfast and the juicy rack of ribs. And don’t forget the drippings.