Eating enough protein is essential for weight loss because it helps you feel fuller longer, boosts your metabolism, and reduces cravings.
It does to me. Why?
Because these are the keys to taking in fewer calories.
And, no matter what the diet guru’s say, weight loss ALWAYS comes down to the weight loss equation, which is CICO, or Calories In Vs. Calories Out.
What is the weight loss equation?
The weight loss equation is simple: eat fewer calories than you burn.
What is CICO?
CICO stands for Calories In vs Calories Out.
It is the most basic and essential equation for weight loss.
It simply means that in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. This can be achieved through diet and/or exercise.
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
Protein is the most filling nutrient, so it can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.
Protein Makes You Feel Full Longer
When you feel full, you eat less food, and ultimately, fewer calories.
Why does protein make you feel full?
Because protein reduces your level of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Have you ever felt like you could eat an entire cow? We’ve all been there.
Ghrelin is a hormone that’s responsible for making us feel hungry, and it’s present at high levels before we eat a meal.
However, eating protein can help to reduce our ghrelin levels and make us feel fuller for longer.
This makes protein a natural appetite suppressant.
Pro Tip: Have a scoop of whey protein powder 20-30 minutes before your meals.
Protein also takes longer to digest than carbs or fat, and it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which makes it easier to lose weight.
So next time you’re feeling ravenous, reach for a high-protein snack instead of raiding the fridge.
Your stomach—and your waistline—will thank you.
Protein boosts your metabolism
Protein boosts your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
A lot of people think that the only way to boost your metabolism is by eating less and exercising more.
But that’s not the only way!
Eating protein can also help to rev up your metabolism.
That’s because protein takes more energy to digest than either fat or carbohydrates.
So when you eat a high-protein meal, your body has to work harder to break down the food, leading to an increase in your metabolic rate.
In addition, protein helps to build muscle mass, and muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.
Hint: “Metabolically active” means you burn more calories.
So if you want to give your metabolism a real boost, make sure to include plenty of protein in your diet.
Protein can keep you from overeating
When you feel satisfied after a meal, you’re less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks later on.
We’ve all been there before.
It’s 3 PM, and we’re starting to feel a little hangry.
We thought we packed enough snacks to tide us over until dinner, but now we’re considering raiding the vending machine.
Before we give in to our cravings, though, we should think about how protein can help us resist the urge to overeat.
Protein takes longer to digest than other nutrients, so it helps us feel full for longer.
Plus, it provides the building blocks for healthy tissues and muscles- this is the metabolism-boosting magic.
Next time we’re feeling the munchies, we should reach for a high-protein snack instead of a sugary treat.
We’ll satisfy our hunger and give our bodies the nutrients they need to thrive.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight, make sure you’re including protein at every meal.
You can get your fill from lean sources such as beef, chicken, fish, tofu, and beans.
Top off your meals with nuts, seeds, or low-fat dairy for an extra protein boost.
And if you’re struggling to get enough protein in your diet, consider adding whey protein to your shakes or smoothies.