How to Feel Full Longer & Shed Pounds

Shed PoundsThis week we are discussing what should you eat to lose weight?  Today, our experts promote the importance of including enough protein in our diet.  We will feel full longer, which also keeps our cravings at bay and helps us shed pounds.

Learn the importance of having enough protein in our bodies, why protein works the way it does, and what foods we can eat to ensure we are getting the proper amounts of protein during each meal.


Make Protein 50% to 75% of Each Meal

Oh my goodness! Not another “pro-protein” lecture! You have already undoubtedly tried a hard-core protein diet and made yourself hate the egg/steak/whipped cream frenzy. I have never known anyone to be able to stick to one of these for long. Everyone wants an orange now and then. But, the importance of protein cannot be overstated. Protein is the essential foodstuff that keeps our bodies working. Your body can MAKE most of the carbohydrates it needs. But it cannot make protein. Proteins are the critical building blocks of your diet. Also, your body does not store protein the way it does fat and carbohydrates. So you need to constantly take in protein to keep your body and metabolism functioning properly. Protein intake helps to build and maintain muscle. And the more lean muscle that you maintain, the higher your “basal metabolic rate” — the more you burn calories while just sitting there.

In the critical world of making your brain feel satisfied, protein is king! Protein is the best food for stretching out your upper stomach and making you feel full. In addition, the hormones your stomach and upper small intestines secrete in response to protein in your gut naturally satisfy you. A win-win, I’d say. With my bariatric patients, I only focus on protein intake as the critical step in staying full. Have some with each meal — at least half of the meal as seen when you look at it. Many teach to eat a “palm-sized” amount of protein per meal. I agree that this is a good gauge. Your body craves protein. It is the long-lasting and dependable fuel your cells need to thrive. When you have it, you are satisfied. Use this to your advantage.

Dr. Michael Snyder, Board-Certified Bariatric Surgeon and Founder of Fullbar, The Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery

Protein Sticks Around

Most women do not get enough protein in their diets. Protein helps build and maintain muscle. Muscle burns calories. So a diet with enough protein is essential. An active woman will need around .70 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maintain muscle. Also, eating 6 small meals a day will keep blood glucose levels between 80mg/dl and 120mg/dl which is ideal so that the body does not store fat (over 120 mg/dl the body stores glucose as fat) or catabalize muscle ( under 80 mg/dl the body tears down muscle for energy) Everytime a woman eats a carbohydrate she should eat a protein with it. This has to do with gastric emptying– carbs leave the stomach 30min-1hr/ proteins leave the stomach 1hr-3hrs.

If people eat a protein with a carb it takes longer for the food to leave the stomach and glucose levels are not spiked. Remember the idea is to keep blood glucose levels between 80mg/dl and 120 mg/dl.

Daniel Nobel, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, St. Louis, MO 63144  

What to Eat to Feel Full

One key is to eat foods that fill you up for fewer calories. Foods that contain a lot of water (such as vegetables, clear soups and…well…water) take up room in the stomach, sending signals to the brain that quell hunger. Studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before meals or starting a meal with a bowl of broth-based soup or a salad decreases the amount of calories that you’re likely to eat at the meal.

The other trick is to choose foods that KEEP you feeling satisfied for longer. Here, protein and fiber are your friends. String cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, tuna, and turkey are all good sources of protein for snacks and meals. For fiber, reach for whole grain bread, crackers, or cereal.

Monica Reinagel, Licensed Nutritionist and Creator of the Nutrition Diva Podcast, Quick and Dirty Tips


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