Looking to start a fat burning diet? If so, you must get your protein intake lined up properly. Nutrition is going to be the biggest determent of the success you see, so don’t think that you can just exercise your way to optimal fat loss.

While exercise can help, it’s by no means a substitute for a proper nutrition program.

Protein is one area that many people miss out on however, neglecting to get enough in on a day to day basis.

Let’s look at what you must know about this critical nutrient.


First, let’s talk about why you must eat protein on a fat loss diet. Each day, your body requires so much protein to sustain itself. This includes making sure that new cells and tissues are generated, as well as for manufacturing various hormones, enzymes, and other substances required on a daily basis.

If you fail to get in sufficient protein, something’s going to suffer. In most cases, it’s rebuilding muscle mass tissue because this is not a necessity to stay alive. Your body will always prioritize what’s required to keep you living over other things when a nutritional shortage presents itself.

Now, given you are taking in fewer calories than your body requires daily as well, this also means you might start burning up protein as a fuel source to get you through the day. This leaves even less protein left over now for all the other important functions – including maintaining your lean muscle mass.

So when this shortage presents itself, you may start seeing a loss of lean muscle mass tissue, which then means a slower metabolic rate. Remember, your muscle is highly metabolically active, meaning it will help you burn fat even at rest.

You want to keep as much muscle as possible. If you aren’t eating enough protein however, this will be difficult.

Not to mention, protein rich foods also keep you feeling fuller longer, which can make sticking with your diet that much easier.


So how much protein is enough? You generally want to aim for around 1.25 grams per pound if you are using a moderately low calorie diet.

If you are using a very aggressive low calorie diet, bump that up to 1.5 grams per pound. This may seem like a lot, but remember that it’s only temporary while you are on the fat loss diet.

Once you’re back eating a higher calorie intake, you can take this down to 1 gram per pound again for maintenance.

So contrary to what most people think, protein will go up during fat loss, not down. This ensures that even if you do use some protein as a fuel source, you will still have enough left over to maintain lean muscle mass.

Have a look at your current approach. Are you getting enough protein in on your fat loss diet? If not, make some changes immediately. This is one of the biggest mistakes you don’t want to be making.