Why Is Protein So Important?

Protein is a component of every cell in your body.  It is used to build and repair tissue, manufacture hormones, enzymes and many other body chemicals.  It is the building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, skin and blood.   Thanks to the low-carb and Paleo diets we have become more educated about the health benefits of eating more protein in your diet but how does it help you lose weight?

  1. Protein takes longer to leave your stomach so you feel full sooner and for longer periods of time.
  2. Eating protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream, which may help keep your blood sugar from rising as well as curb future cravings.
  3. High protein foods take more energy to digest, metabolize and use which means you are burning more calories to do these tasks.
  4. Protein preserves muscle which is metabolically active. The more muscle you have the higher your resting metabolism.  In other words, you are burning more calories doing absolutely nothing
  5. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle which makes you stronger and more toned

To ensure you are eating enough protein, be sure to be prepared ahead of time.  I tend to be lazy when I am hungry or have the munchies so I will go for carbs as they are ready and available.  Therefore, I always have a dozen eggs hard boiled in the fridge, cooked chicken and cheese.  I have washed lettuce and cut up vegetables in cold water.  This way I can throw together a salad with chicken in 5 minutes.  Also, I always have home-made soup in fridge which just has meat, vegetables and beans.  This is a very high protein, low-carb meal or you can have a cup of soup for a snack.  It is warm and comforting and very filling and satisfying.

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