5 Reasons to Add More Protein to Your Diet
One of the fastest ways to calm your hunger and sugar cravings is to eat protein. You probably know protein is great for keeping you satisﬁed, but did you know it can also decrease your cravings? That’s because protein puts the brakes on our neuronal reward system, the brain chemicals that make us feel good and motivate us to get more food — even when we’re not hungry. When we are low in protein, cravings take over and crack the whip in search of a quick ﬁx. Here are a few ways to combat cravings with protein.
- Many times when a sugar craving hits, your body is really crying out for protein. When you’re low in protein, your system knows it needs energy and you crave foods that will give you fuel fast. Unfortunately, those high-sugar impact foods that you’re in the mood for will only raise your blood sugar and trigger an insulin response which shuts off the burning of fat. Instead of reaching for a cookie, fill up on a handful of almonds or a low-fat plain, Greek yogurt. In this way you’ll curb cravings for sweets by giving your body the kind of sustained energy it really needs. Pura Greenis a superior source of minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, micro-nutrients, antioxidants, and protein. The alkalizing blend of fresh, organic greens and wildcrafted herbs in Pura Green enhances your body by alkalizing and energizing the blood; it contains our proprietary combination of herbs and wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, spirulina, spinach, chlorella, and broccoli. Pura Green also contains Pea Protein, a plant-based protein powder extracted from yellow peas (more commonly known as “split peas”). This is a hypoallergenic protein that is highly soluble, easy to digest, and free of lactose, gluten, and cholesterol.
- Make sure you have a protein-rich breakfast. One study found that a high-protein breakfast suppresses ghrelin (your hunger hormone) far better than a high-carbohydrate breakfast. Another study found a moderate or high-protein breakfast curbed cravings in overweight and obese young people. Instead of ingesting a carbohydrate-rich breakfast like cereal that will leave you hungry a few hours later, try a protein shake to experience fullness and focus much longer.
- You should consume a sufficient amount of protein in all your meals. How much protein should you consume daily to get those crave-crushing benefits? One meta-analysis concluded 25 – 30 grams of protein at each meal is beneficial for weight loss, appetite, and other health factors. Based on three decades working as a nutritionist, I’ve found the average woman should get 75 – 80 grams of protein daily, whereas most men should get 100 – 120 grams of protein daily. That comes out to approximately four to six ounces for women and six to eight ounces for men per meal. These numbers aren’t set in stone; your weight and body composition will inﬂuence the amount of protein you need. Those needs increase if you’re under stress, if you’re healing, or if you’re doing some heavy resistance training.
- Find the right protein sources for your diet. The best sources of protein include high-quality animal protein such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild-caught low-mercury fish, and (if you’re not intolerant) eggs. Vegans and vegetarians sometimes find meeting their protein quota challenging, but there are plenty of plant-based high-protein foods like quinoa, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Whether you’re short on time or perhaps don’t have much of an appetite, a shake becomes the perfect higher-protein breakfast that takes minutes to prepare but keeps you full, focused, and crave-free for hours. These are among the reasons I call a protein shake my number one “needle mover” for fast, lasting fat loss.
- Make sure you’re not rushing through meals. Even if you are consuming enough protein, you may not be assimilating it well. Speedy eating, drinking too much ﬂuid with your meals, insufficient chewing, and low stomach acid (including if you take acid blockers) can all interfere with absorption. Low stomach acid becomes a real concern if you’re over 30 or under stress, which includes most of us. Your goal then becomes eating enough protein but also digesting it well. Do you know how much protein you’re consuming at meals? Do you find eating a higher-protein diet keeps you full longer or otherwise benefits you? Share your thoughts below.
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