Why Protein is Your Weight Loss Buddy
Recently, protein has been getting the attention it deserves. Anyone looking to lose weight and stay healthy would do well to pay attention to protein intake. But do you know why? Here are some of the reasons why protein is one of your best weight loss buddies.
Protein is a filling nutrient.
Protein slows digestion. When you eat a meal or snack that has protein, the meal stays in your stomach – or gastric sleeve, pouch, or stoma – for longer. That means hunger stays away for longer, and you eat less.
If you’re looking for a filling meal, you can go for any BariatricPal entrée. You can get plenty of protein from our chili, stew, and even pasta dishes. If you want an even more filling meal, start off with a BariatricPal Protein soup and add some vegetables and beans, chicken, tofu. That’s a meal that will keep you full for hours!
Protein stabilizes blood sugar.
You know what happens when you eat sugar and refined carbs: your blood sugar spikes. What does that have to do with weight loss? Well, to respond to the blood sugar spike, your body puts out a lot of insulin to lower your blood sugar. Your body may end up overcompensating and making your blood sugar too low, which can lead to hunger and cravings…and eating even more sugar and refined carbs. That’s not a good combo for weight loss!
Swap out the added sugars and refined carbs for some high-quality protein, and you can expect your blood sugar to be more stable – and hunger and cravings to be more controllable. You don’t have to give up your favorite carbs, though.
If you’re looking for a meal to stabilize blood sugar while you still get the taste of carbs, we suggest trying BariatricPal pasta, which is low-carb, high-protein, and ready in minutes. For breakfast, whip yourself up some chocolate chip pancakes without worrying about starting your day off with a blood sugar spike. As a bonus, protein takes more energy to process than carbs, giving you an extra little weight loss boost.
Protein gives you more energy.
The more energy you have, the more likely you are to keep moving, the more calories you can burn, and the more weight you can lose. Where does protein enter the picture? Well, since it stabilizes blood sugar, it also stabilizes energy levels. Skip the protein in honor of carbs, and you’re asking for blood sugar and energy spikes and drops.
Go for a breakfast that won’t leave you with an energy drop later in the morning. BariatricPal High Protein Cereal in chocolate, honey nut, or cinnamon can start your day off right. For a quick snack to perk you up mid-afternoon, try BariatricPal Protein Pretzels.
Maintain Lean Muscle
When you lose weight, you want to lose fat – not muscle. The more muscle you can keep and build, the faster your metabolism. You’ll burn more calories. Protein is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining muscles, so keep it in your diet!
You can help build muscle by working out, of course, and you can get the most out of your workouts by getting in some post-workout protein. Stash a BariatricPal protein bar in your workout bag so it’s ready to start working for you and building your muscles.
You’re working hard to lose weight, so you might as well give yourself every boost that you can. Keep focusing on protein to burn more calories, reduce hunger, and stabilize energy, and you may see the results on the scale!
- Alex Brecher