Your cousin, your coworker, and that overly buff guy down the street have all been touting the benefits of a high protein diet. “Eat more protein”, they tell you. “It’s how I lost 30 pounds last year!”
Isn’t dieting about eating less? Why would you need more protein? If you don’t have time to wade through scientific and nutritional literature, we can clarify matters for you pretty quickly. Protein is important to your weight loss plan for these five simple reasons.
You feel more satisfied on fewer calories. Hunger and cravings are the main reasons most people struggle with weight loss. A meal high in protein can help you feel full on fewer calories, and keeps you feeling full longer, so you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy, high calorie-foods throughout the day.
Protein requires more energy to digest. Your body actually requires some energy just to digest the foods you eat. It’s called the “thermic effect of food”, and protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning you actually burn more calories while digesting protein than you do after a meal high in carbohydrates or fats.
It prevents sugar crashes. Protein slows down the absorption of sugar from your gut into your bloodstream. Therefore, meals high in protein can prevent sugar highs and the inevitable crash, which can trigger energy slumps and sugar cravings.
It helps you burn fat. Your body actually cannot burn fat to use as energy without help from either carbohydrates or protein. Give it protein!
You need it to grow and repair muscle tissue. If you’re working out (and you should be), your body needs protein to repair muscle tissue. You should also aim to add a few pounds of muscle to your frame, because extra muscle will increase your overall metabolism. And – you guessed it – you need protein in order to build new muscle tissue!
Remember, if you are on a special or restricted diet, check with us for your exact needs.