Posted by Leo Perez on August 20, 2015
With the continued buzz for eating low-carb and Paleo diets the popularity of protein is reigning high.
As you undergo your weight loss journey, you might question why protein is so prized. How does it really help you lose weight?
Below are five reasons why protein is your weight loss friend:
1. PROTEIN SATISFIES & SAVES CALORIES
In the beginning of your weight loss journey, protein is important because it helps you feel fuller longer. Consuming protein slows down digestion, making you more satisfied and less likely to go hunting for snacks or seconds. If this happens over the course of multiple days your calorie savings can help with weight loss.
2. PROTEIN CURBS CARB HIGHS AND LOWS
I don’t know about you, but when I come off a sugar high onto a sugar low I can make food decisions I’ll later regret. Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream, which helps keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing and ward off future cravings
3. PROTEIN REQUIRES MORE OF YOUR ENERGY
The “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat meaning you’re actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.
4. PROTEIN FUELS FAT BURNING
It may be surprising, but it is a scientific fact that your body cannot effectively burn and use fat as energy if it doesn’t have help from carbohydrates or protein. As you are losing weight, your body loses both muscle and fat (I know, bummer!). During this process it is especially important that you continue to eat enough protein in your diet. Having adequate protein coming in from your food fuels fat burning while preserving calorie-burning lean muscle.
5. PROTEIN PROMOTES MUSCLE REPAIR & GROWTH
Your protein needs increase especially after bouts of intense exercise so increasing your protein intake on days that you exercise is beneficial. Additionally, if you strength train consider having a high protein snack right after a training session when your muscles are receptive to nutrients and be used to repair and grow.
In closing it is important to realize that eating more protein alone won’t necessarily help you shed excess weight. Especially when consumed in excessive amounts, as it may lead to weight gain much like eating excess carbs or fat would. So make sure you follow the serving suggestions, and follow our guide on the amount of protein you need each day.