One of the fastest and best ways to drop some extra body fat (along with a bunch of other benefits) is by increasing your protein intake. You heard that right... get lean with protein.
Straight to the point, here's 6 ways increasing your protein intake, especially from healthy animal sources, will give you a jump start on crushing your health goals.
1. Protein is Satiating
Protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients and central to the neuroregulation of appetite.
Feeling more full reduces the chances you'll binge on other foods with lower nutrient density and higher caloric content.
Think about it...how many steaks can you eat compared to chocolate cupcakes? I'll make the bet you can consume far more calories in sweets than you can in a side of beef or chicken.
It's not the number of calories that matters, it's the nutrient density that signals your brain it's time to stop.
2. Protein Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates, fat and protein all require the hormone insulin for normal metabolism. Of this list, it's carbohydrates that require by far the most insulin and as such, can lead to repetitive spikes in blood sugar.
Consuming processed carbohydrate foods high on the glycemic index can lead to type 2 diabetes and weight gain whereas increased protein consumption has the opposite effect.
3. Protein Helps Build Lean Muscle
Not limited to bodybuilding, meeting your protein requirements can help with the development of lean muscle mass while also supporting ligament, tendon and other tissue health too.
Maintaining or increasing lean muscle as we age is valuable for body fat regulation, protection and recovery from injury, as well as athletic performance.
4. Protein Helps Build Strong Bones
Studies are demonstrating a relationship between protein intake and bone health. In fact, in the elderly, the greatest bone loss is in people with the lowest protein consumption.
It may not be as simple as adding more protein, since micronutrients like magnesium and vitamin K2 play an important role, however, without enough protein bone formation may be compromised.
5. Digesting Protein Burns More Calories
Have you ever heard of the "meat sweats"?
The reason you experience a jump in temperature after consuming a bunch of meat is because of the thermic effect of food - the amount of energy it takes to digest and metabolize nutrients.
Protein has a much higher thermic effect (20-30%) compared to carbs (5-10%) and fat (0-3%), thus you'll naturally burn more calories with a higher a protein diet giving you a metabolic advantage over diets lower in protein.
6. Protein Reduces Cravings
One of the biggest reasons people fail to succeed is because their cravings send them crashing down after a successful stint with a dietary change.
In this study men consuming 25% of their calories from protein had a 60% reduction in cravings and a 50% drop in the desire for late night snacking!
Bottom line, consuming more quality protein needs to be among the top changes anyone makes to their diet.
Not to worry more protein isn't going to damage your kidneys, give you 18 inch biceps or turn into body fat...it is however, going to make accomplishing your health goals far easier and happen much faster.
What's your favourite protein source?