Let’s talk about protein and weight loss! Did you know consuming healthy sources of protein allows your body to burn stored fat as fuel? Continue reading to learn more about why we need to consume higher amounts of protein each day to manage hunger and stay healthy!
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is the building blocks of life and is an organic compound of twenty-two amino acids. Protein is stored in muscles and organs and is utilized to build and repair tissues and for the production of enzymes and hormones. It also makes it possible for blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. Protein is one of the three calorie providing macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fat.
Tip: Lack of protein can cause loss of muscle mass, decreased immune system, weakening of the heart and respiratory system.
How Protein Affects Your Weight
When we consume protein instead of sugars and fats, the body feels more full which helps people control their appetite between meals, thus cutting calories and controlling their weight. Another benefit of protein is that it raises your resting metabolism by maintaining muscle mass. As we age, muscle mass can decrease without exercise, so staying fit is key to burning fat. Protein leads to a much less rapid rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin avoiding the “sugar highs and lows” after eating sweets without protein. Keep reading for healthy protein snacks ideas!
Tip: Daily protein requirement is 10 to 35% of your total caloric intake, with men needing more than women.
Protein Snacks for Weight Loss and Building Lean Muscle Mass:
Nuts are delicious, low carb and a source of healthy fats. Check out my friend’s website, Craig and Gay Jones, local business owners of Savory Addictions. Order online or check the Retailers tab for a local Kansas City location!
Yogurt yields 7 grams of protein and provides “good” bacteria nutrients for a healthy digestive tract.
Chicken or turkey breast are lean heart healthy meats and a good source of protein with 3 oz. equal to 25 grams of protein.
Fish provide a high source of protein and omega-3 fats. Select halibut, salmon and tuna (water pack), 3 oz. yielding 18 to 26 grams of protein.
Beans choose the higher protein count black beans consume ½ c. cooked for 15 grams. Tofu ½ c. firm contains 20 grams of protein and also a good source of minerals and antioxidants.
Here’s a list of resources, all worth checking out.
5 Perfect Protein-Packed Gym Snacks from Men’sHealth.com
High Protein Guidelines for Weight Loss from WebMD.com
5 Fat Busters for 5 Body Types from DoctorOz.com
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