Don’t cut back on protein when you are dieting! Why? Because eating a high protein diet can help you lose weight. Having more knowledge about protein, how much you need, and the best and highest quality sources will help your weight loss efforts work faster. Professional athletes use high protein diets to their advantage every for added strength and less weight and so can you.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of focusing on a protein-rich diet along with how it enhances weight loss. The following are the top three benefits of increasing your protein intake while losing weight.
1. Protein For Feeling Full Longer
The primary reason we eat so much that we find ourselves overweight is that we never feel satisfied. When your stomach and brain get in sync with satisfaction, they can overrule the tongue and tastebuds. That’s the point that you feel satisfied with no further need to eat.
The thing is, proteins are known to help your body reach the point of satiety faster. And when you feel satisfied, your body feels full, and it takes longer for you to experience feelings of hunger. Staying full and content longer means you will have more control over reaching for higher-calorie foods.
Unlike carbohydrates that only provide short energy rushes, proteins break down much slower. Because of the steady release of energy blood sugar fluctuates much less, leading to less sweet and flour cravings.
2. Protein Builds Muscle For Enhanced Metabolism.
I get it! You aren’t into looking like a pro bodybuilder. Don’t worry, that’s not the point. However, building and maintaining muscle mass is something you should do throughout your life, especially when you are losing weight.
Consuming more calories than your body can burn for energy winds up stored as fat cells. In essence, fat cells are lazy and burn hardly any calories to stay alive in your body. On the other hand, the cells that make up muscle tissue burn more calories when activated as well as at rest. It only goes to follow, that to shed excess pounds, the more muscle mass you have the easier and faster it will happen, right?
Metabolism is basically the process of your body turning food into energy. Because fat cells like to lay around and do nothing, they don’t add much to this process. Conversely, there are certain foods that help your body process food into energy better, and the main ones are protein-rich.
More protein provides more energy and speeds up your diet
Eating protein enhances the process of converting food into energy instead of fat cells, and provides amino acids for the production of muscle tissue that increases fat burn. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a win-win dieting situation to me? How to increase metabolism?
Eat plenty of protein and exercise regularly with any strength training or aerobic type activities along with a healthy diet to burn body fat as you build more muscle.
3. Burn More Calories With Protein Digestion
Processing proteins are more difficult for your body than fats or carbs. Your body actually works harder to digest proteins which burns more calories. The whole process is known as thermogenesis and is important to losing weight. Not only does the process take more energy to digest complex proteins than carbohydrates, but it also keeps your insulin on an even keel.
But that’s not all. Adding more protein to your diet leads to a healthier heart (its muscle, after all), a stronger brain and bones. You simply can’t underestimate this important macro-nutrient and it’s a necessity to all your metabolic functions. It’s just essential to your good health.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
This really depends on your own gender, age, body size, how active you are, and your goals. A good place to start is with the USDA recommendation of a minimum of 46g a day for women and 56g per day for men. The thing to remember here is that these are bare minimums for avoiding deficiencies. The figures are an indication of how much a person eats with a moderate activity level and at their ideal weight.
Losing weight, and in particular, if you are having problems reaching your goals, calls for more than the minimum recommendations. A good way to know how much protein to eat is to simply divide your current weight by two. If you weigh 200lbs then you should shoot for 100 grams each day. You may need to add supplements to your diet to ensure you are getting enough.
I can hear you saying, ugh, I don’t count grams and calories! Well, that’s fine, just do this instead:
Every time you eat a meal or snack, just mentally try to make about 30% of it protein. Do that while considering that about 25% should be from healthy fats, and the remainder from complex carbs like peas, beans, vegetables, and whole grains.
From the information above it’s easy to see that increasing protein means feeling full longer, increased metabolism for more energy and higher fat burn. So as it turns out, for the fastest weight loss possible your daily meals should be designed around a high protein diet.
A key component of this approach is concentrating on complete proteins for the 8 essential amino acids the body doesn’t produce. Without consuming enough, your body starts to break down existing muscle tissue to meets it’s own needs. Good sources of these amino acids are skinless chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and lean red meat.
Burn Calories and Lose Weight Without Hunger
With a high protein intake, you can diet without being hungry, and increased thermogenesis. Because you are not hungry all the time it will be easy to limit calories while keeping up the energy to exercise and burn fat stores.
A whole foods diet focused on higher levels of protein for the purpose of weight loss speeds up the process and improves your health all around. Whether you need to lose weight or simply maintain the best health, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats are the foundation.