If there’s one thing that you’ll want to do as you kick-start your transformation and healthy eating journey, it’s add more protein to your diet.
When many people hear the term ‘protein’, they tend to immediately think of a thick steak or a bodybuilder slamming back protein shakes. And while both of these can definitely be associated with protein, they are not the only thing that protein represents.
Everyone needs protein – including you. Why? Let’s go over four big reasons why protein will help you realize success with your program.
Protein Combats Hunger
The first way in which protein will help is with combatting hunger. Of all the three macronutrients you could eat – lean protein, carbohydrates, or dietary fats, protein will combat hunger the best.
Immediately after consuming protein you should notice your hunger lessening and it will likely stay lower for hours until your next meal.
This can make sticking to your diet plan that much easier.
Protein Promotes Lean Tissue Development
Another big benefit protein offers is that it will foster lean muscle mass development. Quick quiz. What’s the number one factor determining your metabolic rate?
If you said your lean muscle mass tissue, you’d be right. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn daily just sitting there existing.
And, protein helps you build more of that calorie-burning muscle tissue. Of course being on a strength training program is key as well, but if that’s in place, protein will help you see great gains in lean body mass.
Protein Optimizes Your Metabolic Rate
Speaking of your metabolic rate, this is another thing that protein will assist with. Protein rich foods have a high thermic effect of food, meaning they help you burn calories simply through the process of digestion.
For every 100 calories of protein you eat, you’ll burn off around 20-25 calories just breaking that food down. Compare this to carbs and fats which burn just 4 and 2 calories respectively.
This, over time, can add up and help you see accelerated fat burning.
Protein Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Finally, the last great reason to include more protein in your diet plan is because it’ll help improve your blood glucose control. Protein has very little influence on blood sugar levels compared to say carbohydrates, which impact them significantly.
By keeping your blood glucose levels stabilized, you can promote steadier energy and may also help minimize your risk of fat gain as well.
So all in all, getting enough lean protein into your diet is a must. The best sources to focus on include chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red meat, egg whites, fish and seafood, as well your protein powder.
Have a good look over your current diet plan. Are you getting enough protein in? Ideally you should be aiming to get twenty or more grams for every meal you eat and another ten to fifteen grams in each snack you consume throughout the day.
Shannon Clark holds a degree in exercise science and sport performance from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her love for physical activity began with her time as a competitive figure skater and she has since been working in the health and fitness field for over 10 years.
When she’s not writing about health, wellness, or fitness, she loves working as a personal trainer, baking up the latest high-protein desserts, and spending time with a good book or movie.