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The Power of Protein

The Power of Protein

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that there are ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Some people get frustrated and stop trying to lose weight because they go on these complicated diets that either introduce foods that are as appetizing as cardboard or they strictly limit foods they love.


Not only is that not appealing and not healthy for the body, but it doesn’t lead to long term, successful weight loss. One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to make sure you’re getting the protein that your body needs.


If you’re eliminating or severely limiting protein, or simply not paying attention to the fact that you’re loading up on carbs and ignoring the protein aspect, then it could be one of the reasons why your weight loss journey has been a struggle.


Eating Protein Leads to Energy


Your body was made to need to protein. You need it from head to toe. The cells throughout your body have to have it. Without enough protein, you’ll end up with thinning hair and weak nails.


Your body will struggle to stay healthy - to keep your muscles and tissues in good working order. You’ll suffer from a lack of certain hormones and you can damage your bones without having enough protein in your diet.


But a huge reason that you need to eat protein might surprise you. You need protein because it gives you energy. And energy is what enables you to be able to do whatever it is that you need to do throughout the day.


Lack of protein is a big reason why so many diets people have tried, fail. Who cares what foods you eat when you’re so tired and so drained that all you want to do is collapse on the sofa and not move?


Diets that don’t include a focus on protein will eventually wear you out and you won’t want to stick to them. And you shouldn’t. You need protein to give you the right amount of energy that will sustain you all the way through your journey to weight loss success.


With the right amount of protein, you’ll get a boost in your energy supply - and that will carry you through your day-to-day activities.  When you have more energy, you end up feeling better emotionally and physically.


You’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish when your body has a solid energy supply. How protein helps to provide you with this energy is by stabilizing your system.


Certain sugary, carb-loaded foods will give you quick bursts of energy that make you feel like you can run all day for a few minutes - but they inevitably lead to crashes where you feel more drained than before.


Protein works to make sure that the amount of glucose in your system doesn’t have those high peaks and lows. It works to keep your blood sugar steadier, which in turn leads to a steady amount of energy all day long.


You might have been on low protein diets in the past that made you realize that not only did you not lose weight, but you felt like you were dragging yourself just to be able to function.


When you feel like that, it’s your body’s way of letting you know that it needs something it’s lacking. What happens when you don’t get enough protein is you’ll find yourself struggling with cognitive function once your energy level drops.


Your brain can’t function the way that it’s meant to without the amino acids from proteins. Many people who are trying to lose weight experience this struggle with cognitive function, not realizing it’s caused by not having the right amount of protein.


It can push you to make impulsive decisions. For example, when they crash because they don’t have enough energy, they immediately seek something that’s loaded with carbs to try to jumpstart themselves again.


Some people don’t get enough protein and try to use other things in its place, like high energy drinks or caffeine. But when the effects of those wear off, then you end up feeling more fatigued than before.


Protein in Your Diet Can Help You Lose Weight


Wanting to lose weight is something that many people are familiar with. Those extra pounds can happen for a variety of reasons. While losing weight doesn’t happen overnight, it’s not as difficult as you think as long as the steps you’re taking to try to lose aren’t counterproductive.


You’ll want to stay away from fad diet eating plans and any advice that calls on you to put your body at any kind of nutritional risk. Some of the risks associated with diets include ones that want to eliminate certain foods such as protein.


One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when you’re trying to lose weight is to not make sure that you have protein with your meals. Many people know some of the more widely reported foods that help with weight loss, but don’t know that protein foods are the best ones to help with a diet.


There’s a good reason for this. You know how you eat a meal when you’re dieting and then two hours later all of a sudden you feel as if you haven’t eaten in days?


That’s what happens when you don’t get enough protein. Protein stops hunger in its tracks. It can do this because protein foods don’t digest quickly like other foods do.


It sticks around in your system longer, so you end up not feeling hungry for longer periods of time. When you’re not hungry as often, it cuts down on those in between meal cravings that inevitably lead to weight loss sabotage.


These snack cravings are caused by eating foods that don’t have enough nutritional value like protein does. Because your hunger is satisfied longer when you have protein, you won’t be eating as many calories throughout the day, which will also help fuel weight loss.


Also, when you have plenty of protein in your diet, you’re not dealing with the steep energy lows that drive people to grab whatever is handy to eat. Getting the shakes and feeling weak has led to some people consuming as much as an entire day’s worth of calories in one hunger fueled binge.


Since you’ll feel full longer, you’ll be able to better manage how you eat once you do feel hungry. More good news about making sure you eat protein for weight loss is that consuming it helps propel weight loss.


There are certain foods that, you once you eat them, run through your digestive system with very little effort involved in digesting them. But protein foods put your body to work during the digestive process.


Because of that, your body is burning calories at a longer and higher rate to digest meals containing protein than ones that don’t. So in effect, the simple act of eating is spurring on weight loss.


You’ll often see weight loss talked about in conjunction with fat burning. Your body can naturally burn fat, but not unless it has what it needs. Without enough protein, your body can’t burn fat.


There’s a good reason for this. When you move around and go about your day, your body uses energy. It takes this energy from the foods that you consume. When you don’t have the type of foods that work to protect your lean muscles, then what happens is your body will lose muscle.


And that’s something that you don’t want. In order to protect your body from burning muscle rather than fat stores, it has to have protein. You want it to tap into the right source for energy.


Protein Can Help You with Getting Lean


Protein comes in a variety of foods and some of it contains more grams than other types of foods. However, you get your protein, it’s important if you’re trying to lose weight.


Protein speeds up the process of burning calories, it works to help keep you healthy and it builds muscles. It’s the type of food that you need on a daily basis when you want to burn fat and shed pounds.


But with all of the different diet advice on the market now, knowing how much and when to eat protein isn’t easy to figure out. You have to consume what your body needs and if the consumption of protein is out of balance, it can make losing weight more difficult.


You want to know exactly how much protein to have in your diet. Your muscles need protein in order to keep your metabolism higher. Without it, you won’t burn calories as fast because your muscles won’t have what they need.


So what’s a good rule of thumb to have when it comes to eating protein for the purpose of losing weight? Your current weight and how much you move or exercise is what you need to go by to figure how much protein you need to have.


For people who work out heavily and have a focus on wanting to build muscle, you’ll need more protein than someone who wants to lose weight and doesn’t plan on building muscle.


The more active you are every day as well as the harder you work out, the more protein you’ll need to eat. Someone who’s trying to lose weight and has a light activity level won’t need as much for their body as someone who has a harder, more intense activity level.


Getting lean means that you should eat plenty of protein - but not all at once in big, heavy meals. Instead, you need to spread out the protein consumption throughout your day.


This means eating protein five or six times a day versus having protein over the course of three meals a day. You want the protein to keep your glucose steady so that it keeps hunger at bay.


Plus, when you eat protein more often than three times a day, you tend to eat less than if you only had it three times a day. What this does is help you keep down the caloric intake as well as pushes your body to keep your metabolism up.


The basic recommended daily intake of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. That number goes up, based on whether or not you’re attempting to build muscle mass while losing weight.


If you are, then you would base your grams of protein according to how much you weigh. You can find calculators and nutritional trackers online to help you meet your goals.


The Benefits of Protein During Weight Loss


By now, you already know that protein helps keep you feeling fuller, longer so that you’re not tempted to overeat and hinder your weight loss efforts. You also know that it helps your metabolism to stay in high gear.


But there’s a lot more that eating protein can do for you to help you be successful. Even carrying an extra ten pounds of weight can make you feel fatigued and can impact your muscle mass.


Because most people who do desire to lose weight don’t always eat the healthiest, they don’t get the daily recommended amount of protein. So they feel fatigued and experience a loss in muscle mass due to the deficit in their protein intake.


Once you correct that and make eating enough protein a priority, the fatigue will go away and you’ll see a difference in your muscle mass. People who are overweight - even by as little as twenty pounds - put themselves at risk for developing diseases like diabetes.


Making sure that your blood sugar levels don’t go through extreme ups and downs is one of the key ways to keep from developing weight gain related diabetes.


When it comes to trying to lose weight, there’s a side to it that a lot of people don’t often take into consideration. That’s the emotional element. Sure, people do get upset when weight loss efforts don’t seem to pay off - but there could be another reason to explain why you just feel a little off.


Maybe you feel a little down or more irritable than you used to be. One of the reasons that you may be experiencing problems with mood stabilization is due to not having protein in your diet.


Protein is known to not only stabilize your moods but it can also boost them. The amino acids in proteins are needed for your nervous system to be able to work correctly.


It’s also needed to help your body process the production of hormones, which impact your mood and energy. A lack of protein can make it harder to concentrate and can affect your mood to the point where you’ll get frustrated easier and feel irritable.


This can push you to overeat or make bad food choices. When your body has enough protein, it aids in the production of hormones that cause calmness and give you a better ability to cope with stress.


You’ll even get a good night’s sleep when you eat enough protein. The right amount of protein consumption works within your body to get rid of insomnia and boost your ability to fall asleep naturally.


All of these benefits given to you by protein work to not only help you take off the extra weight, but to maintain that loss for the long haul. The best formula for protein intake will depend on your goals and how you feel, since everyone is unique in their nutritional reactions.

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