Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived. Eating a protein-rich diet naturally supports weight loss by maintaining muscle, increasing satiety, and boosting metabolism. Learn how protein can help you lose weight and healthy ways to increase your intake.
If you’ve ever tried losing weight, you may understand frustrations that can come along with it. But reaching a healthy weight doesn’t have to be so tough. The key to long-lasting weight loss or weight maintenance is to make long-lasting and manageable habit changes. Rather than feeling deprived by taking away foods or food groups, add healthy ones that nourish your body and support natural weight loss.
Simply being in a calorie deficit can help you lose weight, but it may be unhealthy and unsustainable. When you severely restrict your calories, it not only depletes energy levels, it also rarely works in the long term. That’s because it can cause your body to go into what’s called starvation mode, conserving energy and decreasing metabolism.
When taking steps towards a healthy weight, it’s important to increase your protein intake because it:
Higher protein diets can curb snacking or overeating since it helps you stay satisfied more than carbohydrates or fat (1). At the same time, it increases thermogenesis, or the rate at which we burn calories. This also influences satiety and our metabolism, supporting more calorie burn for a healthy weight loss journey (1).
Protein can actually balance out appetite hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that signal to our body and brain what we should do next. Ghrelin for example is known as the hunger hormone, motivating us to eat. When we eat more protein, ghrelin can decrease, helping us feel more full (2). A high protein diet is also more effective in reducing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance happens if our cells become resistant to the hormone insulin. It results in higher blood sugar, which can lead to weight gain overtime (3).
Research suggests that higher protein intake during calorie restriction or weight loss plans may help conserve muscle mass (4). When we don’t get enough calories from other nutrients, our bodies break down protein, to be used for energy. Ultimately this can lead to less overall calorie burn since muscle mass burns a bit more calories per hour than fat mass.
High quality protein sources include lean meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, low-fat dairy, soy beans and tofu. Aim to include a variety of protein sources in most of your meals and snacks.
1) Whisk eggs in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.
2) Add the mixture into a nonstick frying pan on medium heat, stir until it's set.
3) Top with chives and serve with the smoked salmon and bread.
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