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Why Protein Works for Weight Loss

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protein-works-weight-lossProteins are the building blocks of the body. They are broken down into many forms of amino acids and directed to areas that protein is needed. Your hair, skin, muscles…almost every part of your body needs different proteins to grow, repair and replenish. Many diets to lose weight cut back on fat, calories and much more in an effort to drop the pounds. The ITG Diet is all about lowering your carb intake and upping your high quality protein intake. But do you know the reasons why protein works when it comes to weight loss?

When you diet to lose weight, you are forcing your body to function on a lower caloric intake in order to meet your weight loss goals. Many diets that have been around for years will tell you to eliminate a lot of the foods you love. Back when the world thought that eating fat-free was the way to go, people began yo-yo dieting and trying many different weight loss methods. Those fat-free foods that were recommended contained more and more carbohydrates than one should ever intake while on a diet. The importance of eating protein-rich foods was never stressed enough. With the world today being full of processed foods claiming to be healthy, it is more important than ever to eat properly to lose and maintain weight.

Protein helps you feel fuller for longer

By eating lean proteins, you will actually feel fuller for much longer. How better to save yourself calories on a diet? Protein slows down your digestion rate. You end up feeling more satisfied from a meal and not wanting a second helping of food. Many different enzymes are needed to break down complex protein molecules, so those foods stay in your digestive tract longer. As you continue on your weight loss journey, this calorie saving just by eating protein can add up quickly and result in weight loss.

Keeps you from having highs and lows with carbs

Think of your body as a tank that you fill with energy when you eat. When you add a lot of carbs and sugar to the tank, it tends to fill and deplete pretty quickly, giving you sugar highs and lows. This makes your body crave more sugar to replace what was used, which begins the cycle of eating poorly. When eating foods higher in protein as well as a well-balanced diet, the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream slows down and helps curb those high to low feelings and cravings.

Thermic effect

The thermic effect of food is the energy that is needed to break down and digest foods into small absorbable pieces. Carbs and fat have low thermic effects which mean they do not use much energy to break down. Protein, on the other hand, has a higher thermic effect. To break down a protein into components that your body can use requires more calories to get the job done.

Fat burning and muscle growth are fueled by protein

Technically your body is not able to burn stored fat as energy without the help of a carbohydrate or a protein. When dieting, your body will lose both muscle and fat. The only defense against muscle loss is to eat enough protein. Protein will build and preserve lean muscle tissue, which in turn burns more fat. A win-win all around!

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Joseph is Operations Director for ITG, a Certified ITG Coach for ITG Online, and also manages and coaches clients at ITG's flagship clinic, Slim Down St Pete. He lost over 75 pounds on the ITG Diet Plan, 10 inches from the waist and decreased body fat by over 20%.


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Guest Monday, 04 March 2024
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