Weight Loss Benefits of Protein

As someone who loves food and is trying to lose weight, dealing with my hunger on a daily basis can be exasperating. There is nothing worse than being hungry half-an-hour after a meal and knowing that there are a few more hours to go before it’s time to eat again. This is why it is so important when you are trying to lose weight to do what you can to curb hunger by feeding your body foods that take longer to process and don’t cause spikes in blood sugar. One of the best weight loss foods is protein and increasing the amount of protein that you eat in your daily diet can be the key to your dieting success.

Eating foods rich in protein, such as eggs and fish, benefit weight loss by stabilizing blood sugar levels and curbing hunger.

Eating foods rich in protein, such as eggs and fish, benefit weight loss by stabilizing blood sugar levels and curbing hunger.

When it comes to making smart food choices, keep in mind that not all calories are created equal. For example, carbohydrates, particularly processed carbohydrates, are broken down for energy very quickly. For this reason, there is not a lot of time between the moment that you consume these carby foods and the time that they are converted into energy for your body. What this means is that your body has less time to burn off carbohydrate-based calories before they becomes stored as fat. Foods high in carbohydrates also tend to cause a spike in blood sugar followed by a rapid fall. This peaking and falling of blood sugar is also a major cause of hunger.

Protein, on the other hand, is broken down for energy more slowly during digestion.  It is a slow-release form of energy meaning that, unlike processed carbohydrates, you don’t get a sudden surge in your blood sugar and then crash shortly after, feeling tired and hungry. Furthermore, protein gives you a fuller feeling overall, even if you’ve eaten less. So when you think about it, when you eat protein you not only feel fuller, but the sensation lasts a lot longer. That’s pretty helpful when you’re trying to stave off those pesky hunger pangs.

Of course, to be able to reap the weight loss benefits of protein you need to know what foods to eat that are protein-rich. Furthermore, you’ll want to know how to do so without spending an arm and a leg at the grocery store. After all, most carbohydrate-laden foods are pretty cheap, particularly processed carbohydrates such as white bread and baked goods, so if you’re going to be replacing some of them with protein then you don’t want to break the bank in the effort.

The following are some forms of proteins that you can incorporate into your diet without having to look for a second job to help fund the change:

  • Eggs – Whether you eat the whole egg or just the whites, eggs are loaded with protein and aren’t at all expensive. If you have high cholesterol or a family history of high cholesterol, then you may want to skip the yolks. You might try buying the egg whites in the carton so that you aren’t paying for yolks you aren’t using. Other than being an excellent source of protein, eggs contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Eating one egg a day is equivalent to taking a daily multivitamin.
  • Canned fish – Fish is exceptionally high in protein and also has the benefit of many other nutrients as well. Canned tuna and canned salmon, for example, have good fats in them such as Omega-3, which is critical to many different functions in your brain, nervous system, and even your skin and hair. Other types of canned fish, such as sardines and kippers, can usually be bought pretty cheap when on sale and add extra flavor and protein to a salad or can be eaten as a snack.
  • Beans – when it comes to cheap sources of protein, you really can’t beat beans. Fortunately, there are a lot of different types out there and they can be prepared in hundreds of different ways. Black beans are among the best for protein and overall nutrition, so be sure to include them on your next grocery list.
  • Protein Powder – Well not all protein powder is cheap, but you can usually find a big container of it for under $10 and it will last you for a while. I mix chocolate protein powder with skim milk and drink it for a snack between meals sometimes. It’s relatively low calorie and high in protein and really curbs my appetite.
  • Textured Vegetable Protein – Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is made from soy and can be bought in bulk for next to nothing. TVP can be used as a substitute for ground beef in many recipes, including spaghetti sauce, chili and even burgers.
  • Skim Milk – Skim milk is relatively cheap and is an excellent source of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals.

As you can see, there are many types of foods that are rich in protein, but won’t break the bank to buy. Increasing the amount of protein you eat in your meals will help to curb hunger, and when it comes to losing weight this will be an enormous help. Despite the weight loss benefits of protein, keep in mind that carbohydrates also have an important role in a healthy diet. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grain foods, also take longer to be digested and can help you to remain full for longer. They also contain valuable fiber that you need to keep your digestive system operating efficiently. I highly recommend establishing a healthy balance between the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats that you have in your diet. Although popular with some dieters, I do not advocate the use of extreme high-protein, low-carb diets, such as the Atkins Diet.

Other Related Posts and Articles You May Find Interesting: “Carb Protein Fat Ratio in a Healthy Weight Loss Diet“, “How Protein Curbs Hunger“, “Daily Protein Requirements” and “How Fiber Helps Weight Loss“.

2 comments to Weight Loss Benefits of Protein

  • Good article.

    Meal Replacement Shakes are similair to protein shakes and also contain slow releasing carbs like blended oats that help you feel full for longer.

    I use Green Tea to help curb hung too and it is available in most supermarkets and is cheap.

  • Petter

    Overweight people could easily look at this list as a free ride to getting thin. No matter who you are and no matter what you do. Balance Eating and hard work is the key for attaining a perfect figure.

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