Cutting fat is tough, but what’s harder still is trying to cut the fat while holding on to your hard-earned muscle. There’s not really any way around the fact that if you want to lose fat efficiently, you need to consume fewer calories than your body’s energy expenditure. This creates a calorie deficit. Ideally, this should be a daily process. As you’ll likely be aware, you can’t expect to build much quality muscle when you don’t have the calories to support it. So how can you burn fat effectively, while sacrificing as little muscle mass as possible? This is why we need to understand the importance of consuming high protein quantities in a fat loss diet.
It comes down to making the right choices on where you cut your calorie intake from. Cutting fats and carbohydrates is the recommended process, although some people will cut their overall calorie intake by simply eating the same kind of food but in smaller portions. This is a mistake. It will result in overall weight loss as you’ll lose fat, but you’re likely to lose almost the same portion of weight from muscle as well. This is particularly true if you are still putting yourself through challenging workouts on a regular basis.
The key to cutting fat and maintaining muscle is to keep protein intake as high as possible. We’d argue that even in a very intense cutting phase you should still be consuming (at the very least) 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. A high protein intake will enable your body to repair the muscle damaged in workouts as well as preserving the other muscle you already have, despite your dip in calorie intake. BCAAs, which are present in some protein sources and premium supplements are also essential in the growth and preservation of muscle.
High protein intake and the required digestion for protein in the body will keep your metabolic rate high, especially when you pair this approach with a many meals diet plan in which you are eating roughly every two hours. This keeps your metabolic rate high and could even contribute towards how much fat you can burn.
Sources of vegan protein
Keeping your diet high in lean sources of protein as a vegan doesn’t have to be difficult. There is a huge choice when it comes to protein sources available to you, including lentils, chickpeas and most varieties of beans, seitan or tofu, spelt, green peas and quinoa. It’s also strongly recommended that you invest in a high protein shake which is low in both carbs and sugars. Having a shake handy is a convenient way to ensure you’re hitting your protein quota without adding unnecessary calories.
When you’re trying to lose fat and maintain muscle tissue, cut your calories from excess carbs and fats while maintaining as high a protein intake as possible. Stay hydrated and use lean protein supplements and BCAAs to give your muscles the best chance of preservation, particularly during and after your workouts. It’s also essential to make sure that protein intake is incorporated into your diet throughout the day, this means making sure you’re getting enough protein at breakfast too.