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The Most Important Ingredient To Get Lean & Tone Up

Losing weight has always been a simple formula: cut calories and lose pounds. But dieting alone is an inefficient and torturous way of doing it, and lowering your calorie count and not monitoring your nutrition causes you to lose muscle mass which in turn slows down your metabolism. Without muscle, you will hit a plateau.

Starting your weight loss journey with a fitness plan will help you lose fat, tone up lean muscle, and really just improve the way your body looks and performs in virtually any capacity. Pairing this with a healthy diet that maintains your lean muscle as you lose weight will rev your metabolism, which in turn causes you to torch fat and burn even more calories.

So what is the right way to have a healthy diet that works in your favour? Eating more protein!

Photo credit: goldenmuscles

It's something fitness experts have known for decades — protein is the ultimate key to all things good for your physique. Fuelling your body with adequate protein helps you tone up and maintain your lean muscle, improves your weight loss capabilities through an increase in your metabolism, and kills cravings as you feel more full throughout the day.

So, how much protein do you really need?

This varies by gender and level of activity. For active women working out 2 to 4 times a week and looking to lose weight, you should consume 1.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That means if you're 50kg, you'd need to consume 60g of protein on average to see results. For active men working out 2 to 4 times a week and looking to lose weight, you should consume 1.5g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Couple this with a weightlifting regimen, you'll be on the right track to achieving your goals in no time!

If that sounds like an overwhelming amount of protein to chow down, you can always rely on protein supplements to boost your daily intake whiles keeping your calorie and carb count down. On average a whey protein shake has about 25g of protein like MusclePharm Combat 100% Whey. And if you would like to keep it interesting, try protein snacks like Quest Bars (20g protein), or protein desserts like Justine's Complete Protein Cookie (16.1g protein)!

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