Should you reduce protein foods to lose body fat? No! If anything you should INCREASE consumption of protein rich foods. This is where the “calorie lie” is completely wrong. From a calorie perspective it makes sense to reduce calories from all sources if you want to lose weight, but from a metabolic perspective, protein is vital. As I mentioned on the latest episode of The Big Fat Life Podcast there are three advantages to a high protein approach.
1) Higher thermic effect of food (TEF). Your body uses 30% of the calories in protein just to process and store the nutrients.
2) High satiety. According to protein leverage theory all organisms are eating to meet their protein requirements. We will eat more energy in the form of fat and carbohydrates in order to obtain sufficient protein but it is easier and more direct to target protein first. When you do that, you will automatically eat less of everything else.
3) Protein can be used to build and maintain muscle. This increases lean body mass (LBM) which in turn elevates basal metabolic rate (BMR) and increases calorie burning around the clock. (Graphic courtesy of The Muscle Phd)