Protein is essential to our bodies and can be a tremendous aid on your quest to lose weight. Eating plenty of protein while dieting (or any time) will help keep your body from burning muscle tissue instead of fat. Also, it helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue. If eaten properly, protein can be your best ally when dieting.
Studies have shown that people eating a diet high in protein typically burn more fat than those eating a low-protein diet. One reason this occurs is because of the thermic effect. The thermic effect is the energy our body uses to consume and process food. Calories are burned during the process. Since protein requires more energy to digest, more calories are burned in the process and less fat is stored in the body. On the other hand, carbohydrates and dietary fat are much easier to digest, but they are quickly turned to body fat and few calories are burned.
A Day’s Work for Protein and Weight Loss
One day may consist of many meals or only a few. Consider this – the thermic effect is at its peak about an hour after you eat. Therefore, it’s important how you take in your calories throughout the day. If you eat three large meals and a snack or two in one day, your body works extra hard about an hour after each meal to process the food. The problem is your body will become extremely fatigued while trying to process large meals. This causes you to be less active and to burn fewer calories.
One way to get your body moving in the digestion process is to eat five to six small meals per day. Eating small meals will enable your body to digest and burn calories without burning you out. The meals will be easier to digest, and by adding more protein, you’ll be burning calories more often throughout the day! This is why protein and weight loss go hand in hand.
Sources of Protein
There are many sources of protein, from food to vitamin supplements. You shouldn’t eat only protein because your body needs many other sources of good nutrition as well. You can, however, add more protein to your diet and eat a healthy balance of all necessary foods. Adding more protein increases your metabolism so your body can more easily burn all calories.
Some of the richest sources of protein include meat, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, and cheese. There are also plant proteins, which are found in beans (soy beans included), nuts and seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, and lentils.
There are also other sources of protein such as Herbalife products, vitamin supplements, and protein-rich shakes for meal replacement. Some examples include Shapeworks, La Bamba Herbalife (or La Bamba Diet), and other Herbal Life products. These nutritional supplements and others offer an easy source of protein without having to eat so many meals throughout the day.
As you can see, protein can contribute tremendously to your dieting efforts. Use the guide above about protein and weight loss to start living healthier today!