Protein is a vital nutrient for any healthy body and can also help you lose weight. In fact, you should consider protein an essential ingredient to any weight loss plans.
Protein rich diets aid in weight loss two ways:
- Providing adequate metabolism for energy needed to burn calories.
- Keep you feeling full longer because it takes longer to digest.
On the other hand, if you are not consuming enough protein, your body will cannibalize it’s own muscle tissue.
How Protein Helps You Lose Weight
The importance of protein can not be denied.
In fact, every cell in your body relies on a regular supply of protein directly from your diet. Your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood depend on this nutrient for day to day life.
1. Protein Builds Muscle and Metabolism
Proteins supply the amino acids required for strong and healthy muscles your body must have for everyday activities.
Which is important to weight loss because
The more muscle mass you have, the more efficiently your body burns calories.
Without some form of regular exercise you could:
- Take too long to lose weight
- Look like a scarecrow when the weight is gone and took the muscle with it
- Have loose skin hanging from your body
With more lean muscle you will be more fit, burn more calories faster, and have more energy at your disposal.
2. Burn More Calories Digesting Protein
Proteins take quite a bit more energy to digest than carbs and fats.
The carbs from sugar and flour are easy to dispose of, they quickly turn to fat and excess pounds, providing little energy or metabolism.
Your body works harder and longer to digest complex proteins so it naturally burns more calories.
Ensuring adequate protein in your diet keeps energy levels stoked to burn calories and protects and builds muscle tone while losing body fat.
3. Stay Full Longer With Protein
The more carbs you get from sugar and white flour, the more you crave something to eat, partly because it’s digested so quickly.
On the other hand, high protein foods curb the feeling of being hungry, because they take longer to digest.
Junk foods are high in calories and the energy from them is short-lived.
Because the energy doesn’t last, you never burn the calories you just consumed and they wind up as extra pounds.
Protein keeps you full longer:
When you consume proteins, they break down and digest much slower than when you eat carbohydrates.
Proteins keep your blood sugars from abnormal fluctuations which is how they can help you avoid craving sweets and other high calorie foods.
How Much Protein For Weight Loss?
How much protein you need to eat each day is determined by your sex, age, size, and how much exercise you get.
Studies show that for the best results you’ll need to aim for 25-30 percent of your total calorie intake from lean proteins sources.
The minimum recommendations per day from the USDA is 46 grams for women and 56 for men. *You should note that these are the minimums to maintain good health.
When it comes to losing weight you will need substantially more than the minimums, especially for those including regular exercise. Check out this Protein Calculator to get more personal results.
Here’s a simple method if you don’t care to use calculators:
If you include a regular and rather vigorous exercise program in you weight loss plans:
Divide your body weight by two to determine protein needs
If you don’t exercise, or have a weak to moderate workout plan:
Divide your body weight by 0.75
Whether you’re dieting or not, a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruits, plenty of lean proteins along with healthy fats is the core of the best health possible.
When you focus your diet on more protein not only will you lose weight, but you will your general health will profit immensely.
Best Healthy Proteins for Weight Loss
Of course this is only a partial list of proteins to keep you healthy and aide in your weight loss program.
The most important thing is to realize that protein is not only good for shedding pounds, but making sure you stay healthy for the long run.
One reason your body depends on you for protein is that it is not stored for later use like fat and carbs.
First and foremost a healthy diet is the best diet to lose weight and automatically sees to it that you are getting protein.