5 Ways Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally
When it comes to safe weight loss, there is no magic wand. Lasting change requires commitment to healthy habits; but some are easier than you might imagine. Adding extra protein to your diet may seem like a minor change, but if you stick with it, can help you achieve and maintain your fitness goals in the long run. Here’s how:
1. Protein Curbs Your Appetite and Keeps You Fuller Longer
Protein is a slow-burning source of fuel for your body, and takes longer to digest. As a result, you’ll feel fuller for much longer than if you were to load up on carbohydrates. This one small shift in your eating habits can make a big difference if you stick with it, because over time the calories you save by eating less will add up and lead to effortless weight loss.
2. Protein Helps Cut Back Cravings
When our bodies get the nutrients we need to perform at our peak, we tend to crave less “junk” food or fast-burning sources of energy like sugar and fats. Ever heard of the term “hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry)? When we come down from a sugar rush, we’re much more likely to make poor, impulsive food choices. Adding some extra protein to your diet will help you fight the urge to reach for unhealthy snacks, which can make a big difference in the long run.
3. Protein Regulates the Hormones That Influence Hunger
Believe it or not, your weight is controlled by your brain, primarily by an area known as the hypothalamus. When your brain decides when to eat and how much, it relies on signals from many different systems in your body to make decisions. One of the most important signals it takes into account are the hormones in your body that respond to food. These hormones either increase or decrease your level of satiety (feeling full).
When you eat enough protein, your body will release more of the hormones that make you feel full (GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin), and reduce your levels of the primary hormone that creates feelings of hunger (ghrelin). Reduced hunger is actually the primary reason why protein helps you lose weight!
4. Protein Fuels Muscle Repair and Growth
Professional athletes and bodybuilders understand the importance of protein intake when it comes to building muscle. If you don’t get enough protein, your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to repair all the micro-tears in muscle that lead to muscle growth. More muscle means more calories burned in a state of rest. Clean, complete protein is not just important, it’s essential for people looking to achieve results from a fitness routine.
5. Protein Requires More Energy To Burn
The energy we use to digest our food is known at the “thermic effect of food”, or TTF. Protein has a higher TTF compared to fats and carbohydrates, which means you will burn more calories processing protein than most other foods.
These shifts may seem subtle, but over a long period of time, will help you gradually reduce your caloric intake and fire up your metabolism. Change might not happen overnight, but with a high quality protein, you should begin to see surprisingly good results.
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