Why is Protein Important for Weight Loss?

A lot of my clients come to me with a lack of protein in their diet. This is a common issue because it is so easy to eat a diet of mostly carbs and fats. Our favorite packaged foods are full of them and we have so many at our disposal- even the “healthy” ones! But it’s important to remember to choose snacks and meals high in protein, which will keep you fuller longer. Having a higher protein intake will naturally reduce your hunger hormones and activate the hormones that let you know you’re full.

Protein doesn’t just keep you satiated, it also plays a crucial part in gaining muscle. And if your goal is to lose fat, you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to preserve muscle. Preserving muscle helps ensure the weight you’re shedding is fat, not muscle.

How can I do this?

Ideally, you should be consuming protein before and after each workout. As a general recommendation though I suggest people aim to include protein at every meal.

Fun Fact: Extra calories from protein don’t convert to fat as quickly as carbs or fat! Our body uses energy (calories) to digest the food we eat. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein has a higher TEF than fats and carbs, which makes it more difficult for our bodies to digest, absorb, transport and store protein. But because our body has a hard time digesting proteins, it’s important to supplement our diet with easily digestible macronutrients like fats and carbs as. This is one example of the importance of a balanced diet!

If you feel a little lost when it comes to how to incorporate protein into your diet, here is a list of easy and protein filled snacks!

  • Greek yogurt

  • Eggs

  • Vegan protein shakes

  • Roasted chickpeas

  • Turkey roll ups

  • Cheese string

  • Cottage cheese

  • Turkey Jerky (watch for sodium)

  • Edamame

 

Apart from consuming enough protein, here are a few tips to promote weight loss:

  • Choose whole foods over processed foods

  • Get enough sleep, 7+ hours a night

  • Try to make movement a part of your day – it can be a walk, a workout, yoga, dance, or anything that gets you moving

  • Increase your energy output by walking more and trying to be active throughout the day

  • Try to de-stress, extreme stress can make weight loss tough!

  • Make sure you’re consuming enough fiber

  • Work on developing a positive and supportive network of friends/colleagues/etc.

Looking for some more protein sources? Click here

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