5 top ways protein aids waist management

•    Protein boosts your metabolic rate
In scientific terms, protein induces thermogenesis – a heating effect on the body.  Think of it as turning up your thermostat and burning more fuel. While all 3 macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates – increase your calorie burning after you eat them, protein has the greatest impact.   This is due to your body using about 25 to 30 % of  protein’s calories to process the nutrient. Compare that to only 2 to 3 % of  calories used when fat is eaten.  Carbs   use much more than fat but significantly less than protein.

•    Protein increases satiety
Satiety – it’s a word that’s often misunderstood.  It’s frequently associated with feeling full after eating but in fact, it’s much, much more.  Have you ever felt full yet wanted to continue eating? You leave the table and a half hour later you’re  on the hunt for something to nibble on. That’s a lack of satiety.

Satiety means that you no longer want to eat.

Research shows that by including protein at meals and snacks  through the day, satiety is improved. This is due to a number of factors including more stable blood sugar readings as well as hunger hormones being kept in check.

•    On low-carb weight loss regimes, it’s not cutting out  the carbs  that leads to shedding the pounds.
While many people think that carbs are the enemy and that their weight loss on low carb diets prove this to be true, the fact is that on these regimes, they consume adequate amounts of protein which keeps hunger at bay.

•    A higher protein diet paired with low glycemic carbs is the best combo for maintaining weight loss.
While you might think of a higher protein diet as a food style similar to an Atkins-type program, keep in mind that those diets are very different.  Those high protein diets clock in at around 30 to 50 % protein versus around  the 25 % scientists have been investigating for optimal weight management. These levels appear to be safe for healthy people – those without potential kidney disease.

•    Eating adequate amounts of protein through the day yields more muscle for you.
Muscle is your calorie burning tissue. If you have less muscle, you have a slower metabolism. So keep your metabolism humming along by eating protein regularly through the day.  And for an even better result, science is showing that if you exercise within 2 hours of consuming protein, the effect is maximized.

Do you pay attention to how much protein you consume at meals? Please share in the comment section below.

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Categories: Research Roundup

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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