How do you speed up your metabolism, build and maintain muscle mass, and burn more calories all day long? By eating more protein!
Quality protein, like chicken, fish, eggs, and whey protein, helps you build muscle, hold on to muscle mass when you’re losing weight, improve immunity and antioxidant function, build HDL Cholesterol, improve metabolism, and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which help with weight management over time.
You don’t have to eat like a bodybuilder and consume 200 grams of protein a day, just adding a serving of protein to your meals and snacks will do the trick. The current recommended daily intake for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, but researchers argue that it’s inadequate for anyone doing resistance training (which you should be doing at least once a week). Instead, aim for an amount between 0.54 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, use your goal weight instead of your current weight.
According to Women’s Health, research shows that protein can increase your postmeal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent! Eat a high protein breakfast of cottage cheese or eggs and you can raise your metabolic rate for as long as 12 hours – nearly all day long! That’s a lot of extra calories to burn through for not doing anything. Protein also helps keep you full longer so you’re not starving between meals, and helps support healthy insulin function.
Just make sure to watch your total calorie intake. Adding a couple hundred calories of lean protein – not hamburgers and steaks – without cutting calories elsewhere in your diet will ultimately lead to weight gain. So unless you’re trying to add mass, cut down on carbohydrates and unhealthy fats in your diet so that you’re not consuming more calories than you’re burning!