The Summer of 2021 in South Jersey has been the first signs of normalcy for many people and so many are doing everything they can to get out of their houses to enjoy the weather plus all that the Jersey Shore has to offer. Whether you are already in the physical shape you want or still working towards your goals, maybe you are still trying to shed the "Pandemic Weight" or you are about to give up on losing the weight as you get older. Whatever your situation is right now, you may not have utilized the mot simple key to fat loss available to anyone who is willing to do it.

The most important of the three Macronutrients is Protein and it should be the priority food item you should be consuming every day.  Approximately 20 percent of the Human Body is Protein and every cell in your body is made of proteins. We know that Water makes up at least 60 percent of the body's makeup; So drinking water and eating protein are the most important items you can consume every day with 80 percent of your body is made up from those two things.

But what if I told you that Protein is the key nutrient for Fat Loss? Well here's the simple explanation of how this works:

-Consuming protein helps satiate your appetite, making your stomach feel fuller and less likely to want to eat more

-Protein is important for healthy blood sugar which is essential for maintained weight loss by slowing the release of glucose and reducing glucose peaks which impacts the bodies need to insulin to work overtime which prevents the Fat Storage process

So if you eat more Protein, you are less likely to eat unhealthy foods. Also, eating protein causes the body to change its focus to use food and stored fat for energy instead of packing on the inches. Here's one of many studies that illustrates this reality:

*McMaster University Researchers took two groups of obese young men with one group of subjects consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day and the second group consumed only 0.5 grams of protein per pound. Both groups did the same four week exercise routine, both groups followed the same calorie deficit diet, the only difference was their protein intake. At the end of the Four Weeks, the group who ate more protein lost more body fat than the lower protein group, nearly 5 pounds more overall.

*The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study in 2016 that had two groups follow an eight week exercise and food program with one major difference between the two sets of subjects: One group consumed 1 gram per pound of body weight with set number of total calories white the other had a set protein intake of 1.5 grams per pound of body weight and also this group consumed 500 more calories per day. The results were that the 1.5-grams of protein group after eight weeks shed an average of 5 pounds of body fat compared to the 1-gram per pound of body weight group showed no significant fat loss. So the subjects that ate 50 percent more protein and 500 more calories per day lost an average of five pounds more body fat compared to the subjects who ate less protein and calories.

These are just two studies that illustrate that eating more protein will help you lose fat which means you will have a healthier body composition.  More protein and less carbohydrates along with more protein than fats will prevent any excess fat gains and allow the body to lose those inches that are frustrating for all of us.

So whether you want to eat more Chicken or Beef or Turkey or Fish with each meal every day, over a period of weeks you could initiate fat loss and maintain better body composition. Of course, the increase in protein intake for fat loss must be done in conjunction with healthy eating habits daily and some form of exercise each week. As we discussed in a previous Fitness Friday, if you plan to eat 80 percent of the week healthy while treating yourself the other 20 percent of the week along with Exercising once a day four to six days per week, combine this with increased protein intake and YOU can use the science to change your health.

*DISCLAIMER: If you have any animal meat or dairy allergies/issues, please consult your doctor about what you can eat each day. Also, if you or your family have a history of Kidney Issues, you cannot consume high quantities of certain types of Protein without negative side effects. Every meal plan or dietary program should be customized for you and your body's needs, do not use any "cookie cutter" or "one-size-fits-all" programs for long term results.

*Josh Hennig is more than just a Daily Host and Producer for 973 ESPN Atlantic City: Josh is a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and studied The Psychology of Weight Control.  Josh is a former NASM Certified Personal Trainer and studied Fitness Supplementation.  Follow his personal IG for more Fitness and Life stuff: @joshuashennig

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