As you go about making some changes in your nutrition program, one thing that you must be focusing on is adding more protein to your daily diet plan. Why protein? What does it have to offer?
Chances are you’ve heard before that protein is important for optimal health and fat burning results. But, you may not understand why.
Let’s look at this closer so that you can see precisely why protein is an area to focus on.
Protein Rich Foods Blunt Hunger
Hunger is something that throws many dieters off their diet as soon as it strikes. If you hate feeling that burning pain in your stomach where you know you need food, protein can help.
Protein rich foods take longer to break down and digest in the body, therefore they help keep your hunger under control much better than carbohydrate rich foods. This in turn may make it easier to follow your diet plan in the long run.
Protein Rich Foods Speed Your Metabolism Up
Want to give your metabolism a kick-start? Protein can do that. What few people realize is that the body actually expends more energy breaking protein foods down compared to how much it expands breaking down fats or carbohydrates.
For every 100 calories of protein you eat, you’ll burn off around 20-25 of those calories just in the digestion process. This means you only net around 75-80 of those calories.
With carbohydrates, you’ll burn off around 4 calories per 100 that you eat and with fats, you’ll only burn off 2.
Now, this may not seem like that big of a difference, but over time, it can really add up.
Protein Rich Foods Spare Lean Muscle Mass
Another great benefit of protein is that it helps to spare lean muscle mass tissue. How much lean muscle mass you have is one of the biggest determinants of how many calories you burn off on a daily basis. Those who have a lot of muscle have high resting metabolic rates and therefore can eat a lot of food without gaining weight.
When dieting, however, you are at risk of losing this muscle mass, thus suffering from a slow metabolism if you don’t get enough protein into your day.
This is because your body has a higher chance of using incoming protein for energy purposes, leaving less left over to sustain lean muscle mass.
By eating more protein rich foods in your diet, you can avoid this muscle loss as well, thus sustaining a higher resting metabolic rate over time.
Protein Rich Foods Stabilize Blood Glucose Levels
Finally, the last great benefit of protein is that it will stabilize blood glucose levels. Protein doesn’t have much of an influence over blood sugar levels, so by eating it, you’ll help keep insulin levels lower.
Since insulin is a hormone that can put your body in fat storage mode, keeping it stabilized is important. By eating protein with any carbohydrates you consume, you can prevent the spikes that typically do occur.
So as you can see, it really is critical that you get enough protein in your diet plan. What are some good sources to eat? The best protein sources include chicken breast, turkey, eggs, fish, lean red meat, and whey protein powder. Focus on eating these with each meal and snack and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.