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Calories Burned Digesting Protein

By Craig Smith

Protein aids in metabolic increase due to its role in preserving lean muscle tissue. This macronutrient also possesses a higher thermic effect, meaning protein takes more calories to digest compared to carbohydrates and fats.

Thermic Effect of Protein

Thermic effect of food is described as the energy expended by our bodies in order to consume and metabolize food. According to Calories per Hour.com, “protein requires the greatest expenditure of energy, with estimates ranging as high as 30 percent.” This means you will burn up to 30 percent of the calories in the protein you consumed merely to digest.

Protein and Weight Loss

While losing weight, your lean muscle mass is susceptible to being burned for energy without sufficient carbohydrates in your diet. Leucine, an amino acid found in protein, prevents muscle loss during the weight-trimming period. Since lean muscle requires calories to survive, consuming sufficient quantities of protein will aid in preserving muscle and metabolism.

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Protein Consumption

Protein should be consumed through several meals throughout the day to increase metabolism and meet daily requirements. Sources include lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish in addition to beans and nut sources like almonds and black beans. Proper protein consumption promotes a healthy body and metabolism.

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