Looking to lose weight, but not sure where to start? Forget the fad diets and hundreds of do’s and don’ts! Here at Chuckling Goat, we want to help make your weight loss journey as streamlined as possible. But firstly, why is it so important to reach and maintain a healthy weight?
Approximately two-thirds of adults in the UK are overweight or obese.1https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn03336/#:~:text=Adult%20obesity%20in%20England&text=BMI%20between%2025%20and%2030,to%20be%20overweight%20or%20obese. As BMI (body mass index) increases, so does inflammation, blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and risk of disease.
So what’s one easy thing you can do to help accelerate your weight loss and improve overall health? Eat more protein! Find out why below –
Protein makes you feel fuller for longer, so it’s a good idea to include a quality source in most meals. Protein reduces your levels of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and increases your levels of the hormones that make you feel full (peptide YY, cholecystokinin and GLP-1).2https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight
One study carried out among overweight women, where protein consumption was increased from 15% to 30%, found that participants ate over 400 fewer calories each day and experienced significant weight loss.3https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16002798/
Increasing protein intake overall, or even starting your day with a high-protein breakfast, has been shown to massively reduce cravings and late-night snacking.4https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
Protein-rich foods can also trigger a sustained release of dopamine. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter and hormone associated with pleasure and reward. Dopamine is one of the main brain hormones involved in cravings and addiction, so by improving its function, you can reduce your desire to indulge.5https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
Protein also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels which can reduce the occurrence of intense cravings. This is the opposite effect compared to eating sugary foods, which causes a rapid rise in your blood sugar, followed by a subsequent crash. This rise and crash can trigger cravings for more sugary or unhealthy foods.
Protein is often described as the building block for muscles. This nutrient’s role in building and repairing muscle makes it so important for most populations. Increased muscle mass can boost your metabolism, improve your strength, reduce unhealthy cravings, reduce the risk of weight gain, aid recovery after exercise, help you get better after injury, protect against muscle loss as you age… the list goes on! Eating sufficient protein for muscle repair and growth not only makes us healthier, but it also makes us stronger and more mobile – which means more independent!
Combining a higher protein intake with resistance or weight training will maximise your body’s ability to maintain and grow muscle. Wondering if you should consider strength training? Read more here – Unleash your inner strength: 8 reasons you should be strength training
Aids weight loss
By increasing your consumption of protein, you feel fuller for longer, experience fewer cravings, and promote muscle growth. These three benefits can really help you towards a weight loss goal. Protein helps to preserve muscle during periods of weight loss too! By promoting fat loss and preventing muscle loss, your body composition will also improve and your body will become more ‘toned’.
Protein also requires more energy to digest and metabolise compared to carbohydrates and fat. As your body is working harder to break down protein, it is also burning more calories! This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF)6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/ and can aid weight management and reduce unhealthy cravings.
Embarking on a weight loss journey can be a difficult task. Luckily, simply eating more protein each day is an easy tool to make this journey smoother. To learn more about healthy weight loss check out our articles Simple tips to help you get fit! and Are All Calories Created Equal?
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays, to have your questions answered!