And as we enter the spring season, this becomes more of a problem as we’re surrounded by temptations practically everywhere: the office, home, dinner parties etc…
Grill season can always be tough...vacations too!
I mean, why not put the grill to a HEALTHY use though(mine lovessssss salmon hehe)
Sure, many of these foods are pleasing to the taste buds…
However, in the end they just let you down…
Because these seemingly innocent indulgences can really add up and….
…. Quickly lead to an annoyingly pudgy waistline, inconvenient sugar crashes (aka low energy), and a host of long term health problems …
This can really hold you back from achieving the results you desire, causing you to be frustrated with yourself and feel bad about it…
However, you may not be the one to blame…
Because those uncontrollable cravings may not be your fault at all….
They may be caused by not simply eating enough of the satiating nutrient, Protein.
You see, numerous studies have shown that eating enough quality protein to be vital for:
- Lean muscle for both men and women
- Natural repair of tissue as you age
- Immunity and Cardiovascular health
- AND … keeping you satiated longer and killing those cravings (More on this in a moment)
Now the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that the majority of people’s diets are only made up of a meager 17% of protein… the rest being in processed carbs and fats.
(Note: This is like eating one portion of protein a day)
However, a recent study from the University of Washington School of Medicine showed that when people increased their protein intake from 15% to 30% of their daily eating, they saw a significant reduction in food cravings followed by an increase of weight loss.
Why is that?
Because when you eat the right protein (I’ll give you my top recommendations in a moment), it accomplishes Three primary hormonal functions…
1) Big Release of the “Satiety Hormone”, Peptide YY: It all starts with Peptide YY. It is one of the hormones responsible for letting your brain know that you’re full both directly and indirectly (I explain why below). And when you eat protein, a significant amount of Peptide YY is released, helping you feel full.
Now compare that with the low levels of Peptide YY that are released as a result of eating carbohydrates, and it is no wonder why carbs never really “fill you up” like protein does.
(Side Note: healthy fats come in at second place for Peptide YY release. That’s why the ideal meal for making you full and energized is a combination of fat and protein)
2) Leptin Sensitivity Promotion (even more satiety): Leptin is another “fullness hormone” because when your body is sensitive to its presence, it acts as an appetite-suppressing signal to your brain. It also acts a metabolism regulator.
And Peptide YY has been shown to improve Leptin Sensitivity.
So not only are you increasing levels of Peptide YY when you eat more protein, you’re also helping with Leptin Sensivity, having a multiplied effect on signaling that you’re full to your brain.
3) Suppression of Ghrelin Hormone (less hunger): Ghrelin is known as the “Hunger Hormone”, responsible for all those annoying hunger pangs you get.
Simply put, the more ghrelin secreted in your body, the hungrier you’ll be, and more likely to overeat and even indulge in things you know you probably shouldn’t.
However, recent studies have suggested that high protein intake can in fact help suppress levels of ghrelin, helping satiety even more.
Want to end those DREAM KILLING CRAVINGS forever?
Having all of these 3 hormonal components working in your favor is the best situation to be in.
And clean, quality sources of protein, apart from being very tasty, can help accomplish all of the above.
Now what does all of this mean for you?
It is also one of the most commonly agreed on elements of a successful weight loss plan.
Want to avoid the sugar cravings of all the sweet treats that will be tempting you this summer?
Focus on the quality protein sources and keep yourself full and satiated.
My Top Protein Sources
A few of my go-to quality sources of protein are Grass –Fed Beef, Turkey, Pork, Lamb, cage free range poultry, and FISH (salmon is my favorite).
(Side Note: Fat comes in second place for having plenty of satiating Peptide YY, so don’t shy away from quality meats with clean fat on them)
The key is the quality of the protein, usually animal sources.
This also means be more wary of animals that were industrially farmed and grain fed. The reason is because they tend to be unhealthy and their nutrient content is skewed to be loaded with highly inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids.
(go for leaner cuts of industrial meat)
Now my response to those who think too much is a bad thing...
Don’t worry about it.
If you’re eating a variety of nutrient dense foods, you’ve got nothing to fear.
Eat as much QUALITY sources of protein as you want.
Your body will naturally stop you from consuming too much protein.
Now I should add that because of how satisfying and filling it is, eating too much protein is a hard thing to do.
And over the years, I’ve found that most people don’t eat enough protein….
Not eating enough is more of the problem.
Are you getting enough quality protein in your diet?
So if you think you are constantly craving food and sweets....ADD protein and watch your waistline shrink!
Have a great weekend!
PS --> Don't forget that protein shakes are also a great way to add to your diet as well! Just MAKE sure you choose a QUALITY protein. The kinds we have at OAF are clean and grass-fed all natural! :)