We are obsessed with protein. For one, you need enough of this benevolent macro nutrient to build and repair muscle. It also plays a role in revving fat-burning metabolism and reducing the hunger pangs that can lead to an attack on the vending machine. Additionally, protein works to slow the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, which can prevent the sudden spikes in blood sugar that are thought to encourage fat storage and sagging energy levels.
Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight. You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals. Give yourself a week, boosting protein gradually.Remember, calories still count and you should learn to choose good calories.
The Power of Protein
The moment it leaves your fork, protein starts winnowing your waistline. High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The cumulative effect has obvious benefits for anyone who is watching her weight.
A healthy serving of protein is often the key to staying fuller for longer. So what kind of protein should you include in your diet?
The Best Protein Sources
Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat and calories, such as:
- Lean meats
- Low-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
It’s a good idea to change up your protein foods. For instance, you could have salmon or other fish that’s rich in omega-3s, beans or lentils that give you fiber as well as protein, walnuts on your salad, or almonds on your oatmeal.
How much protein are you getting? Here’s how many grams of protein are in these foods:
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 14
3 ounces tofu, firm: 13
1/2 cup cooked lentils: 9
2 tablespoons natural-style peanut butter or almond butter: 8
1 ounce cooked lean meat, fish, skinless poultry: 7
1 ounce cheese: 7
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 7
1 ounce nuts: 4-7
1 large egg: 6
4 ounces low-fat plain yogurt: 6
4 ounces soy milk: 5
4 ounces low-fat milk: 4