How Protein Curbs Hunger

If you have been dieting for long enough, you may have tried each and every type of diet out there. Some are good, but most fail in one way or another. Perhaps one of the best ways to come up with an eating plan that does work for you specifically is to put together your own. Take the parts and pieces of other diets that have worked for you and blend them together. This is what I have done and for the first time I feel like I have a diet that works for me. Of course, when piecing together your diet, remember that you want it to be safe and balanced, but you also want it to work. One really important element you should consider for your diet is how much protein you are eating (check out this great post about “Daily Protein Requirements“) and how it can help to curb hunger.

One of the easiest and healthiest ways to curb hunger during the day is to eat some protein with your breakfast and lunch meals.

One of the easiest and healthiest ways to curb hunger during the day is to eat some protein with your breakfast and lunch meals.

Protein comes in many forms with the most common and obvious being meat. However, there are other sources if you want to stay away from eating too much meat in your weekly diet. No matter where you get your protein, understand why you need it and what it can do for you. One of the best things about protein, other than it being essential for good health and rebuilding muscle tissue, is that protein curbs hunger. If you have ever been on the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet, you may already know this.

Protein is harder to digest and stays in the system longer (for example, red meat takes 1 to 3 days to digest, see “The Truth about Red Meat Digestion“). That means your stomach feels fuller for longer periods of time. When that happens, you may look at food that you would normally be craving only to decide you simply are not hungry. If you start out the day with a good source of protein and/or fiber, you may be well nourished until lunch without having to overeat because you are starving by the time the noon hour comes along.

High Protein Food that helps to Curb Hunger

There are a number of foods that are particularly high in protein. Try adding one of these foods to your breakfast and lunch meals to help curb your hunger during the day.

  • eggs
  • low-fat cheese
  • low-fat cottage cheese
  • skim milk
  • low-fat yogurt
  • tofu
  • soy milk
  • black, pinto, soy, kidney and lima beans
  • lentils
  • peanut butter
  • peanuts
  • almonds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • flax seeds
  • fish
  • chicken breast (skinless)
  • steak
  • low-fat ham
  • pork chop
  • oatmeal
  • brown rice

Be aware that too much protein is just as bad as none at all. Strike a good balance by adding a bit more each week to see what works for you. In some cases, those on a higher protein diet find that they are not hungry to the point where they have to force themselves to eat. That may sound ideal if you are trying to lose weight, but if that happens you may not get enough calories. If you feel that way, back off on your amounts a bit until some small portion of your appetite reappears. It’s a great benefit how protein curbs hunger, but you should still only do this in moderation – don’t go overboard.

If you are looking for a few good ways to add protein into your diet, think about a few protein rich snacks. Since eggs are high in protein, a boiled egg is a great idea. Deviled eggs are good too, but remember to watch the fat content in them. Meat jerky is good, but you have to watch sodium and sugar. Cottage cheese, mozzarella sticks, yogurt or a small handful of peanuts are great for protein snacks, and you may also want to try prepackaged protein shakes or bars.

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