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Why a High Protein Diet is Best for Weight Balance

Written by Amy Davis on May 09, 2024

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By: Amy Davis, RD, LDN 

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, there are many strategies you can use to keep your weight balanced. However, some are more sustainable, realistic, and long-lasting than others. Spoiler alert – juice cleanses and detoxes are not the way! As a registered dietitian, I’m here to explain why a high-protein diet is an excellent idea for weight balance. 

Weight Maintenance Basics 

You probably already know that in order to maintain weight, you must either eat slightly fewer calories or the same amount of calories than you burn on a daily basis. This allows your body to stay at a stable weight. However, many other factors influence your body weight and energy levels, including sleep, genetics, physical activity, salt intake, and even a woman’s menstrual cycle. Moreover, the macronutrient composition of your meals profoundly impacts the body’s satiety levels, hormones, and metabolism. 

Why Protein is Essential for Weight Maintenance 

A high-protein diet is key for weight maintenance and a healthy lifestyle for several reasons. First off, protein is the most filling out of all the macronutrients, helping you to feel fuller for longer, prevent overeating, and curb hunger.  

Protein also impacts certain hormones in the following ways: 

  • Enhances leptin sensitivity, reducing appetite and promoting feelings of fullness 
  • Suppresses ghrelin secretion, lessening hunger and prolonging satiety 
  • Can improve insulin sensitivity and minimally impact blood sugar, supporting stable energy levels 

Finally, protein has a high thermic effect since it takes the most energy out of all the macronutrients to break down protein into amino acids. This means a high-protein diet can slightly boost metabolism and the number of calories burned in a day. 

How to Eat More Protein  

Eating a protein-rich diet is completely feasible with a little planning and strategy. Here are some daily goals and habits to keep in mind when trying to lose weight on a high-protein diet:   

  • Aim for 20-30g protein at meals  
  • Choose protein-based snacks in between meals 
  • Choose carbs and grains higher in protein for more satisfaction 
  • Pick your protein first, then build the rest of your meal around it  
  • Keep protein foods like Chomps, chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, tuna, and Greek yogurt on hand to ensure protein-packed meals.
 

    Finding Your Balance  

    As mentioned before, there are many factors beyond calories in, calories out that can impact your weight. Some other healthy lifestyle habits that can help you find your balance include: 

    • Daily movement that you enjoy  
    • About eight hours of quality sleep 
    • Decreased screen time for mental health  
    • Daily connection with others to promote happiness  
    • Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) to maximize daily calorie burn  

    And remember, you won’t be perfectly balanced every day, and that’s okay! Some days you’ll eat far more calories than you burn or you’ll miss a workout. But these things happening on occasion won’t undo a consistently healthy diet and lifestyle.  

    A high-protein diet can help you stay fueled, optimize your hormones, and support your metabolism while maintaining a healthy weight. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand the significance of protein in your health journey and provided some actionable tips for a balanced lifestyle. 

     

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