In my journey to weight loss and a healthier life, I have tried multiple different diets and lifestyles to find the right one for me. There are different factors for everyone when it comes to finding the right lifestyle diet. However, there are definitely some components that should be a part of nearly every diet, especially when losing weight. I came across a little article on My Fitness Pal that was written about the benefits of protein and why it’s important. I wanted to go over some of their key points that they addressed in the article because I agreed with their overall content. I’ve also included a link to the article as reference below.
Satisfying and Calorie Saving
I agree with this point whole heartedly. The reason being that protein definitely has a way of filling you up. It takes a lot less calories from protein to give you a “full” feeling than it would if you were eating a box of mac and cheese or other less healthy options. I love to pair protein with some other healthy food that aren’t filling at all, such as avocado. Make some eggs with your avocado and you have a tasty, filling, and healthy meal. I want to re-iterate the “satisfying” description. The way that protein is satisfying is two-fold. First of all, what I already mentioned about getting full and staying full longer. Second is mentally satisfying, it’s proven that if you get the right nutrients in your diet that you are less likely to crave unhealthy things.
The article describes this particular point as carb-high and carb-lows. However, I labeled it as blood sugar. The reason being that you can pair good carbs with protein in order to slow down the how much sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream. There is also plenty of research showing that your blood sugar levels can be a factor in your cravings as well. It is beneficial for you in many ways to keep your blood sugar levels at normal ranges and avoid those levels spiking or dropping drastically.
Have you ever heard that eating more protein helps you burn calories? It really does! Protein needs more effort to break down. Your body has to use more energy (thus burning calories) in order to break down the proteins that you eat. The article refers to this as “thermic effect of food” or TEF. It states that the TEF is higher in protein. This is why it takes more energy to process proteins in your diet.
I feel like this is definitely a big one. As soon as I started integrating a larger amount of protein into my diet, I started seeing drastically better results in my weight loss journey. The thing is when you are losing weight it is common for people to lose a lot of muscle weight as well. However, muscle burns fat so it is important to retain as much muscle as possible. Having a large amount of protein in your diet helps you to retain that muscle and to help fuel that fat burning process. I was trying to put a minimum of 90 grams of protein in my diet every day. It worked wonder for me. When my mom had went at talked to a nutritionist recently, the nutritionist supported the protein intake and told her she would like my mom to be hitting 100 grams of protein each day. Seriously, it is a lot of protein and I have to make a very concerted effort to get the protein in. However, when I started dropping consistently two pounds a week, I knew it was the right call.
Helps when Paired with Exercise
Eating protein when working out will help your body to recover. Not just recover but help those muscles continue to grow. If you are trying to lose weight or just build muscle, you will need to get some good exercise in as well as the protein. I have a brother that use to work so hard at the gym and was frustrated with the lack of muscle growth. My husband told him he had to increase his protein intake to almost double what he had been doing. When he took that advice, he showed visible muscle growth faster than I thought it would happen. It definitely makes a difference.
Make the Right Protein Choices
If all you focus on is a huge amount of protein in your diet, then chances are you could gain weight. It’s important to make sure you stay within a healthy caloric intake. This means making the right choices in what protein you consume. Some of the great protein choices when it comes to actual meat is things like tuna, ham, and chicken. These meats keep your protein high and your calories low. Some great protein choices when it comes to non-meat options is protein drinks, black beans, and nuts. Protein drinks can up your grams of protein by 20-30 grams of protein in one serving. This is a HUGE boost. Black beans have low calorie and fat but has a good amount of protein and healthy carbs. and nuts have the right kinds of healthy fat while still giving a good boost in your protein as well. There are so many different proteins out there and if you make the right choices, you could see huge improvement in your overall health. No one is going to be perfect, all we can do is try our best and keep moving forward.
I really enjoyed this article and was glad to write some of the points that it brings out. However, a lot of the descriptions were based off of my own opinions and points of view. If you would like to read the original article the link is in the reference down below.