A healthy diet is made up of three macronutrients and countless micronutrients. A good diet needs the right amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in addition to the right number of calories to keep your body working correctly. Each of the nutrients that you eat plays a major role in the diet and each is important, but protein plays the biggest role. Protein aids weight loss efforts keeps you feeling full for longer, and jump starts the metabolism as well.
Thermogenesis and Protein for Weight Loss
When the typical diet is eaten, thermogenesis or the generation of heat, is not usually that noticeable. Fat creates the least amount of thermogenesis with only about 3%. Protein, on the other hand, increases this phenomenon by around 30%. In fact, only alcohol increases thermogenesis more than protein. Thermogenesis can be increased by overall diet as well, with a 100% increase seen in diets that are high protein, low fat vs. high carbohydrate and low fat diets.
The concept of thermogenesis is seen most clearly during big feasts where more food than normal is eaten at one time. For instance, the Thanksgiving meal is typically one of the biggest that most people will eat each year. After the meal is finished, most of the people are tired but many of them will also feel overly warm and may be sweaty as well.
The body generates this heat while it is breaking down and burning food for energy. Protein takes far more work than any other nutrient to digest, resulting in the higher heat production.
Keeping the Body from Feeling Hungry
For many people, eating a lower calorie diet can be derailed quickly by feelings of hunger. When the body feels that it does not have enough food, it sends the hungry message to the brain, which in turn sends out the message to eat. If you have been stuffing your body with more food than you really need, any reduction will make the body panic and think it will starve. It is important to start exercising at this point so that the body continues to burn food for energy rather than simply storing it away automatically.
Because protein takes much longer to digest than other foods, it can keep you from feeling full. A protein based snack, such as Vooluu Green Protein for instance, in the form of a protein supplement, can keep the body from feeling hungry without negatively affecting the metabolism. Protein supplements come in many different forms, including shakes, powders and bars. A really good one for busy people is Profect, a protein shot from Protica that is less than three ounces in size but has 25 grams of protein per 100 calorie serving. Because it comes in so many different flavors, it can be used as a daily snack in a healthy and well balanced diet without fear of becoming bored.
Listen to the Body-It Knows What it Needs
If you have ever thought that you needed a glass of ice cold water, but did not want to stop what you were doing to get one, you know how many ways the body can talk to you. As your thirst increases, your body might start moving a little slowly or you might start having a headache. You might even feel nauseous as the thirst continues to go unanswered. You drink a glass or two of water and suddenly you feel much better. The same can be said for other foods as well. If you are not getting enough of any nutrient, your body may start to crave these foods. If we are not getting enough of the right proteins, our body will make us eat more foods to make up for it, regardless of the calorie count that will result.