Include lean protein with each meal for a powerful way to fight hunger pains and naturally lose weight. Lean protein is an important part of any healthy diet and can help you with your weight-loss efforts. Lean protein provides you with a sense of satiety (fullness) and can help prevent overeating.
A common complaint among dieters is that they are always hungry. Eating a low fat diet can leave you wanting more, but you don’t have to eat the kitchen sink or return to your old habits to feel satisfied. By including a little lean protein with each meal you can feel full longer. Experts say that if you choose foods that help curb hunger, as well as become more mindful of your eating behaviors, you can actually eat more and still lose weight.
Why Protein is So Important to Our Body?
Contrary to carbohydrates and fats, which are primarily energy sources, proteins play vital roles within the body: building, repairing and providing the structural building blocks of virtually every cell in your body. They are the basic structural material of all cells. Your muscles, organs and many of your hormones are made up of protein. Protein is used in the manufacture of hemoglobin (the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body). Protein is needed for the manufacture of antibodies that fight infection and disease. It is also central to your body’s blood clotting ability (i.e. stops you from bleeding).
Proteins are made up of smaller units, known as amino acids, which link up in various combinations to form chains. These amino acids can be divided into non-essential amino acids, which your body can manufacture and essential amino acids, which you can only obtain from dietary sources. Add to this that your body is unable to store protein and it is clear that you need to eat protein every day, preferably with every meal. You cannot stock up on protein, by eating it once a week! Ingestion of protein containing essential amino acids is critical, since in their absence, the manufacture of proteins that include these is inhibited. If you do not eat sufficient protein containing , your body has to find it elsewhere and will look to your muscle for answers.
How Protein Help Lose Weight?
Protein can help you shed those unwanted pounds and keep your belly full.
Protein takes longer for your body to digest so it stays with you longer (much like whole grains.) It can help you stick to a low fat diet and in turn help you to lose weight.
High-protein foods slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. Slower stomach emptying means you feel full for longer. Foods high in protein take a longer time than carbohydrates to move from the stomach to the intestines, and as a result remain in the stomach longer than foods high in starch or sugars. Thus protein helps curb your appetite because it helps you feel more full, helps you lose weight.
How Much Protein Is Enough?
Contrary to what the Atkins Diet presents, all it takes is a handful of protein at each meal to curb hunger. The Atkins Diet may be successful for a short period of time because it does make you feel full to eat a lot of protein, however, it isn’t a healthy long-term plan.
When eating lean meats, consider that your balled up fist is equal to a portion size. A portion of cheese can be an individual stick of string cheese or chunks the size of a pair of dice. Healthy nuts should be limited to a handful per day and peanut butter should be limited to a tablespoon a day.
Why Choose Lean Protein?
It’s important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein to get the health benefits. Lean protein stabilizes the blood sugar, preventing sugar levels from rising or falling too quickly. High-protein foods keep you fuller longer, and prevent steep drops in blood sugar.vHigh-protein animal foods often are high in saturated fat. You should look for animal products which are low in fat, such as non fat dairy and lean meats.
Some lean protein foods include skinless turkey breast and skinless chicken breast, fat-free cheese, egg whites or egg substitute, low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese, tuna (canned in water), cooked black beans, kidney beans, chick peas and lentils, shellfish and fish fillet, peanut butter, pudding with skim milk and nonfat cream cheese. Some of these foods are as low as 35 calories per serving.
You can add lean protein at any meal, but research has shown that adding it to your breakfast may be especially helpful. Adding three extra ounces of lean protein a day to your recommended daily allowance can reduce hunger cravings and help you lose weight.
To keep calories in check, have higher-protein foods in place of other foods. For example, choose a glass of skim or low-fat milk instead of drinking a sweetened beverage, and you’ll take in 8 extra grams of protein.
According to a study conducted at Purdue University, postmenopausal women who eat high-protein, meat-rich diets are at a higher risk of losing bone mineral density than women who eat vegetarian diets, with eggs, vegetables or dairy as a source of protein. Older women should discuss with a doctor or dietitian the best means to achieve weight loss without risking health.