The importance of protein for losing weight

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

A balanced diet consists of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. Until then, I haven’t told you anything. But did you know that the distribution between these 3 macro-nutrients is also important?

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

It’s not just about “eating a little bit of everything” as we are often told. But rather to provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs on a daily basis.

The right balance

Each of the different macronutrients has its role to play within your body. They are therefore not interchangeable. A diet must imperatively contain a balance between these. Here is what I recommend:

  • 40% carbohydrates (grains, fruits, vegetables and sugar in general)
  • 30% lipids (butter, oils, oilseeds, etc.)
  • 30% protein (meat, fish, eggs, etc.)

These 3 macronutrients are essential. Your body can’t make them. Your diet is therefore the key element for good distribution.

fried eggs

Lack of protein, a common mistake

When I support my clients in their fat loss, I often notice that the proteins are too little present in their diet. Especially among women…

Instead, I often find excess lipids (fat) and carbohydrates (sugar) on their plates. For the majority of these people, prepared meals, biscuits and snacks are the cause. Indeed, these different foods are rich in fat and sugar and provide many additional calories to their diet.

The ratio above is then replaced by this one:

  • 45% carbohydrates
  • 45% of lipids
  • 10% protein

Even if at first glance this does not seem to be a problem, this distribution nevertheless causes a significant imbalance.

Proteins VS lipids

In terms of calories, the different macronutrients are not equal. While proteins and carbohydrates respectively provide 4 calories per 1 gram, lipids provide 9 calories.

For simplicity :

  • 100g of carbohydrates = 400 calories
  • 100g of protein = 400 calories
  • 100g of fat = 900 calories

You will then easily understand why, in equal quantities, eating proteins or fats will not have the same impact on your body composition. A diet rich in fat will more easily tend to make you gain weight.

If your goal is to lose weight (and more specifically fat), then you need to think about rebalancing the contents of your plate. Proteins must take the place they deserve in this.

box of eggs

The 3 benefits of proteins

Here are 3 great reasons to eat more protein.

  1. Protein is filling. A meal containing fish, meat or eggs will fill your stomach much more than a meal high in fat. Knowing that hunger is one of the main reasons for abandoning a diet, eating protein can help you avoid this disadvantage.
  2. Protein allows you to maintain your lean mass (muscles). They are responsible for nourishing your muscles. Therefore, eating enough protein is essential to avoid muscle wasting and a drop in metabolism. Inasmuch as sports coach and sports professional, I can only recommend that you practice physical activity in addition. This will allow you to further limit the loss of lean mass by stimulating your muscles.
  3. Proteins provide few calories. They will allow you to have a moderate calorie intake compared to a meal rich in lipids. If your goal is to lose weight, then this asset is probably one of the most important.

My best sources of protein

There are several sources of protein that I recommend. Here is a non-exhaustive list.

  • Meat (poultry, beef, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Dairy products (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
  • Lenses