High Protein Diets for Weight Loss
High protein diets seem to be all the rage right now, and it’s easy to understand why. Protein is an essential macronutrient that is an important component of every cell in your body. Here at Metabolic Research Center, we’ve understood and promoted the benefits of a high protein diet for a long time. In fact, we believe that protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to weight loss. Protein can boost your metabolism, make you feel fuller longer, help balance your blood sugar, and regulate hormones.
So what is protein? Protein is one of the three macronutrients required in ample amounts in every diet. It’s a building block of our bones, muscles, and even blood. Our hair and nails are made up of mostly protein. Proteins are also transport vehicles for hormones. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store protein to utilize later. This makes it critical that you consume protein daily.
Now that we know what it is, let’s talk about how it works. Eating a high protein diet has been proven to boost metabolism. It takes more energy for your body to break down protein-this is known as the thermic effect of food. More energy required for digestion equals more calories burned. Protein is also the building block of muscle. When you consume more protein, you’re able to build more muscle. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories. Now, that's a good cycle to be caught in when you're trying to lose weight!
Another benefit of protein consumption, especially animal proteins, is that they are rich in the type of iron that our body most readily absorbs. Iron is an essential micronutrient. When it is not present in adequate amounts or absent altogether, this can result in dizziness, tiredness, and even anemia. Animal proteins are also high in vitamin B12, another essential micronutrient in the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to weakness, tiredness, nerve problems like tingling, or even mental issues like depression and memory loss.
Protein is the most nutrient-dense and satiating way to get calories. When you swap carbohydrates for protein, you feel fuller, and that fullness lasts longer. Because protein takes longer to digest, it keeps you feeling fuller longer. It doesn’t result in the blood sugar spike that happens when you eat carbohydrates; especially those overly processed carbs. When you don’t have the blood sugar spike, you don’t get the inevitable crash that is notorious for leading to cravings and irritability.
Eating a high protein diet reduces appetite by increasing the hormone PYY which has been shown to reduce hunger. It has also been shown to reduce ghrelin, another hunger hormone. So, replacing carbohydrates and fat with protein can lead to decreased appetite...and what’s better than not being hungry for weight loss? There are a handful of ways to incorporate more protein into your diet. One approach is to supplement with protein drinks. There are a variety of protein drinks available on the market. MRC’s protein drinks are a healthy low-carb, low calorie flavored beverages lightly sweetened with natural Stevia extract. This composition makes them ideal for weight loss.
The bottom line is that higher protein intake can be beneficial for many people. Increasing protein and decreasing intake of carbohydrates and highly processed foods often results in weight loss. MRC’s weight loss philosophy consists of lean protein coupled with vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and even some healthy fats sprinkled in! Our balanced approach to weight loss is backed by science and over 30 years of experience. Before beginning any new dietary regimen, we always recommend that you consult with your primary care physician first to determine if a high protein diet is right for you. Contact a weight loss specialist today to help find your perfect balance and start achieving your healthy weight loss goals today!
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