Low Carb/ High Carb, Low Fat/High Fat
Seems like the other macronutrients get all the hype – but what about protein?
It’s important for many physiological functions within the body. It’s more than just a muscle building nutrient.
Let’s unpack its benefits:
Helps to optimize body weight and lean body mass
Everyone should prioritize adequate protein intake in order to promote health and muscle growth. Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass all while supporting ligaments, tendons and other important body connective tissues!
When people try different “diets” they tend to lack protein which overtime can cause “muscle loss.” This essentially means your body isn’t getting enough nutrients and your body starts losing muscle aka you get the skinny fat look!
“When we do not feed our body adequate protein like during times of starvation (dieting or extreme calorie restriction), our body is forced to break down our muscles to provide amino acids for other processes in the body. A breakdown of muscle leads to a decrease in metabolic rate, meaning we have to eat even less and/or work even harder to maintain or lose weight.” – Registered Dietician Ali Miller.
That’s why we recommend eating enough protein – it helps preserve lean body mass during while dieting (caloric restriction) and optimises muscular development when nourishing our bodies adequately!!
Its Thermogenic aka Fat Burning
Eating protein creates a process in the body known as thermogenesis which requires the body to expend more energy in order to digest food. The word “thermogenic” means heat-producing. Therefore, protein has a higher thermogenic effect requiring more calories to digest than carbs and fat! Your body becomes a fat burning machine!
It regulates the hunger hormone
Protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake. Research has shown that eating protein decreases levels of ghrelin aka the “hunger hormone” and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full.
Out of all the macronutrients, protein is the most satiating. Having a diet higher in protein will allow you to stay fuller longer and get less hungry throughout the day! Constant hunger is one of the signs that indicates we can be lacking in protein (regardless of snacking or skipping meals). This leads to my next point.
Stabilizes blood sugar levels
It is important to pair carbohydrates with protein because it allows the body to break down carbohydrates at a slower speed instead of rushing it into the bloodstream driving a higher insulin response. This blood sugar regulation (avoiding the highs and lows) will lead to less cravings.