Protein-Rich Foods Lead to Weight Loss Success

“It’s time to talk about dieting in modern society” a personal trainer from London told us recently when we sat down to talk to him about fad diets. Especially how they are being so heavily promoted on social media. The problem with many of them is that they simply lack the proper nutrients and protein that our bodies truly need to burn fat.

The foods we eat are equally as important as how much we’re eating, and protein-rich foods are noticeably lacking in most modern diets. That’s’ why many dieticians and personal trainers today are constantly having to remind their clients to be wary of social media influencers who promote these crash diets in a move to gain more followers. Though well-intentioned, they often aren’t taking our nutritional needs into consideration.

There’s a reason for Instagram’s recent announcement that users can now block weight loss ads. Personal trainers tell us that this is a smart move by Instagram based on what they’re seeing with their clients lately. The danger in many of these weight loss ads is that they often define “healthy eating” by asking people to cut calories to starvation levels which can result in malnourishment over time.

And that’s how we arrive at the importance of including enough protein in our diets.

Not Eating Enough Protein Affects Our Metabolic Burn Rate

We’ve all heard the term metabolism, but few understand how it works. Let’s first talk about what our metabolism is and then talk about how a protein-rich diet can help you optimize it. Widely hailed as the holy grail for solving our weight loss challenges, our metabolism is simply a set of internal processes that our bodies go through to produce the energy we need to go about our lives.

Protein is what we call a macronutrient, and it is essential for building and maintaining the health of our bones and muscles. The cool thing about eating more protein is that your body needs to burn more energy to digest it. Welcome to what we call the thermic effect of food (TEF). In terms of foods that can accelerate your TEF, protein increases it the most.

Here’s the point: any diet that lacks the proper amount of protein can affect your metabolism in a way that slows it down. That’s because our bodies can lose muscle mass if deprived of the proper amount of protein. In other words, by eating enough of the right protein our bodies can build more muscle tissue, and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. The more muscle we build, the higher our metabolic rate will become, and the key to building more muscle tissue is to include more protein-rich foods in our diet.

How Much Protein Should We Eat?

The question of how much protein we should be consuming is directly linked to factors such as your activity level and how old you are. In today’s active society, protein should account for approximately 25% of your total caloric intake each day. But let’s get down to “brass tacks” – you want to gain muscle and lose fat, right? We’ve got that covered:

Each day, active men should be consuming 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight while women hover around the 1 – 1.2 grams per pound range.

Protein-rich Foods Suppress Cravings

Our bodies enjoy a multitude of benefits when we focus on adding more protein to our diets. Chief among them is how well protein can help our bodies suppress those hunger cravings that so often get in the way of our dieting success. By adding more protein to our diets, we can reduce cravings by as much as 60% and reduce our caloric intake by 400 calories each day.

Include Protein in Every Meal

Protein-rich foods that we should focus on eating more of include meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and a wide array of nuts and legumes. The secret to success when adding more protein to your diet is to include it as part of each meal. That doesn’t mean you have to grill a steak for breakfast, but it does mean that you can swap the carb-loaded cereals for hard-boiled eggs or Greek yogurt. It’s an easy way to omit the unnecessary carbs and get in more whole foods that are loaded with hunger suppressing protein.

Add your Protein Powders!

Whole food protein sources are always best, but protein powder can be marvelously effective at helping you increase your intake. One of the fitness professionals we talked to in Canary Wharf (London) told us that he even encourages his clients to increase their protein intake by adding these powders to their oatmeal, pancakes, and smoothies. The results can be amazing.

Finally, be prudent about those “protein bars” on the market that are promoted as high-protein meal replacements. While some snack bars are a great option, many of them aren’t much more than glorified “candy bars” that can be way high in sugar content.

Dieticians & Personal Trainers Know Best

For anyone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, it’s always best to connect with a personal trainer or registered dietician first. These are the professionals who can provide you with the support and accountability you need to achieve your fitness goals in the shortest amount of time. Oftentimes, working with one can be well worth the investment.

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