Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are used to make muscle, tissues, tendons and organs. It is important to consume adequate protein everyday in order to preserve muscle loss and increase fat metabolism. Protein is important when trying to lose weight for two main reason.
- First protein helps to fill you up and keep you full. Protein is much more satisfying than carbs and fats. Protein take much longer to digest therefore keeping you satisfied longer. Carbs are digested very quickly once eaten vs protein. For example, think about the last time you had a bagel, doughnut or cereal for breakfast, I bet you were hungry 1-2 hours after. Versus the last time you had eggs and bacon, and you were full till lunch. Incorporate a good source of protein at every meal.
- Second, protein helps reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin in the body while at the same time boosting appetite-reducing hormones. This should lead to a reduction in caloric intake. Protein intake reduces food cravings and helps prevent muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.
So how much protein should you aim for each day? Ideally you are getting about 25-30% of your daily calories from protein or .8-1g per kilogram of body weight, so a little under half your current weight. So if you weigh 200 lbs then you would need about 80-100g of protein a day. Be sure to include foods that are a good source of protein such as meats, fish, eggs, and legumes at every meal. Also consider using a quality protein supplement that is low in carbs and high in protein between meals to meet protein goals!
So to help with weight loss, food cravings and caloric control be sure to incorporate adequate protein every day!
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