I’ve shared quite a bit of information on lean protein and how to include it in your diet over the past few blog posts. Something we’ve only touched on so far is how protein can help you increase your lean muscle mass.
This may not be something you’ve given a lot of thought, but if losing weight is one of your goals, it’s something worth looking into. Increasing your muscle mass will actually help you lose weight faster and easier. Here’s why. Your body will burn more calories for each pound of muscle versus body fat for example. It takes more energy to keep those muscles going. To lose weight then, you want to increase your own lean muscle mass. As you do, you will burn more calories twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You’ll be burning more calories even when you sleep. Since muscle is denser and heavier than body fat, you’ll also look slimmer and more toned. In other words, increasing your muscle mass is a very good thing when you’re losing weight.
But what does all this have to do with eating more protein? Great question! Let’s get scientific here for a minute. Stay with me, it’ll make sense in a minute. Every single protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. Some of those our bodies can create from other food sources. Then there are essential amino acids. Those are building blocks we can’t produce ourselves. We have to get them directly from the food we eat. And lean protein, ideally animal based is the best and most efficient source of these types of amino acids.
If we want to increase our lean muscle mass, we need plenty of those building blocks to make sure our body is able to assemble more protein and build more muscles. There’s one more element to this we shouldn’t forget about. Our bodies are very efficient machines who won’t start making more muscle simply because the building blocks are there. Instead the only way to increase lean muscle mass is to use our muscles more. That of course means working out. That’s your job then. Work out regularly, alternating between cardio and strength building workouts and making sure you have plenty of lean protein in your diet. This last part is particularly important right after you work on strength building. To become stronger, you work on those muscles which slightly tears and damages the muscle fibers (that’s why you get sore after a big workout). Your body then repairs the damage using the amino acids in the protein you’ve just eaten. And to be on the safe side, it makes the muscle a little stronger every time you work out.