Does Protein Really Help You Lose Weight?

Lately it seems that protein has taken center stage as an optimal diet for weight loss. Several scientific studies have shown that protein rich foods will keep your hunger at bay longer than fats or carbs. And protein takes more energy to digest so you end up burning more calories because your body is working harder to break down high-protein foods. In fact, according to a study conducted at the University of Illinois, if you have plenty of protein in your diet when you are losing weight, your body will tend to burn fat instead of using lean muscle tissue for energy.

Dietary guidelines from the National Institute of Health recommend that 10-35% of your daily calories come from protein. If you’re trying to lose weight, I recommend targeting your daily intake from protein towards the upper end of that range (25-35%).

For optimal nutrition, lean proteins are your best bet. The next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to fill your cart with at least a few of these items:

  • Skinless chicken breasts
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Shrimp
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt
  • Skim milk
  • Lean cuts of beef like sirloin or tenderloin
  • Egg whites – you can buy them in the carton and use it to make a quick omelet for breakfast
  • Peanut butter

While a high protein diet can help with weight loss, it’s important to maintain a good balance of other foods for a good, nutritious diet. So don’t forget to add plenty of nutritious veggies and fruits to your meals and a modest amount of healthy fats and whole grains. Making these small changes to your diet will set you on the right course towards a healthier lifestyle and sustainable weight loss.

Do you have any great recipes that include lean proteins to share?


Zestar co-founder and dedicated Zestar app user Joy Solomon was inspired by her weight loss struggles with diet after diet that did not bring results. Guided by her scientific education and extensive medical and health information background (including CEO of IVI Publishing, the creator of the highly acclaimed Mayo Clinic health information website), Joy delved into the science of weight loss to bring Zestar to life. Join her on her weight loss journey as she blogs about tips and insights that can help you be successful on your weight loss journey too. Read Joy's full bio.



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