If you’re trying to lose weight by cleaning up your diet, but still not seeing the results you want, it may be that you’re not eating enough protein. Now, you don’t need to start buying tubs of supplements and going Paleo, but there are some basic guidelines around protein for weight loss – how much, what sources to get your protein from and when to eat it – that could help you tip the scales in your favor.
Are you getting enough protein?
When you’re on a weight-loss journey, eating adequate protein is essential to your success. Many people start to shed pounds with ease once they increase the amount of protein in their diet since high-protein foods take more work to “digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them,” says Esther Blum, R.D. A longer digestion time also means that you stay fuller longer, unlike the crash-and-burn effect that comes from eating fatty foods and refined carbs.
Beyond giving your metabolism a boost and keeping you satisfied, one study has shown that in addition to a regular exercise routine, doubling your protein intake (as recommended by the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances) may be the key to losing fat pounds without dropping muscle mass. This is important since muscle burns more calories in the body than fat. In short, if you’re serious about weight loss, you’ve got to take protein seriously.
Not positive you’re getting enough protein in your life? Read up, incorporate these tips to your daily diet, and start seeing results!
How Much You Should Eat
To make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein in your diet, you have to know what your body requires! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s average requirement of protein for women ages 19 to 70 is 46 grams per day, but this is not the hard-and-fast number to follow—especially if you’re active. Your recommended daily protein intake depends on a number of factors, including your weight, your activity level, and whether or not you’re pregnant.
Foods You Should Buy
Once you’ve determined the amount of protein you need per day, it’s time to look at the best foods to incorporate into your diet. When it comes to weight loss, meat eaters should always opt for lean protein sources since they’re significantly lower in fat. The leanest poultry pick is white meat with no skin, and if you’re concerned that red meat is off-limits, you’ll be glad to know that there plenty of other lean red meat options that support weight loss.
If you’re new to a vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s important to be fastidious about hitting your recommended protein every day. Read up on the best vegetarian protein sources and the best vegan options to make sure you’re getting enough of these foods in your diet.
Full Story: How To Eat More Protein
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