Lean protein plays an important role in weight loss. It’s an essential part of many popular diets because it offers a variety of benefits. A protein-rich diet can result in pounds lost and a better-looking body that works more efficiently. It's a favorite among every nutrition coach and weight loss specialist for the reasons below.
One of the best things about lean protein is that it fills you up and curbs cravings. When you eat it, it impacts the hormones in your body that control hunger. It decreases ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite, and boosts production of leptin, a hormone composed by fat cells that reduces hunger. Lean protein also promotes healthy digestion by slowing it down—this is why you can feel full for hours after eating it.
Increases Calories Burned
Digesting food actually burns calories. The thermic effect of food is a measurement of how many calories it takes to digest a particular food item. Since lean protein takes longest to digest, it burns the greatest number of calories. It has a high thermic effect.
More Lean Muscle Mass
A diet rich in lean protein helps you increase lean muscle mass in your body. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories and fat you burn on a daily basis. When we hit our 40s, our muscle mass starts to decline; up to one percent per year. While one percent seems like no big deal, in 10 years, that’s 10 percent, which is a lot! When our lean muscle declines, this throws off balance and coordination, depletes energy and strength, and slows down recovery time. Eating lean protein helps protect against these critical issues while boosting cellular repair of damaged muscle fibers.
Remember This: The loss of muscle mass with age is also why regular exercise becomes more critical as we get older. Our health and safety become more dependent on maintaining our musculature. Studies have shown that older people who exercise regularly are able to stay more active, engage more socially and are less prone to injury, hospitalizations, etc.
Better Heart Health
Much research shows that a diet rich in lean protein can improve heart health. It helps lower blood pressure and decreases unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) levels. When your heart is in good shape, you can exercise, which boosts weight loss efforts, and ultimately, improves overall health.
Great Lean Protein Sources:
Learn more about how to optimize lean protein in your diet by working with nutrition mindset coach, Maria Mizzi.