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Boost Your Metabolism Naturally with Protein

When you are wanting to make changes with your food, and subsequently body composition, understanding the role of different nutrients is crucial. Protein, often hailed as the building block of life, plays a multifaceted role in our bodies. Beyond its muscle-building reputation, protein also holds the key to revving up your metabolism. Let's delve into how protein can be a powerful ally in boosting your metabolic rate naturally.

The Metabolic Puzzle:

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. It's influenced by a myriad of factors, including age, sex, genetics, and body composition. However, one of the most significant factors under your control is your food.

Enter Protein:

Protein is a macronutrient composed of amino acids, which are essential for numerous bodily functions. When you consume protein-rich foods, your body expends more energy during digestion compared to fats or carbohydrates. This phenomenon is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) or dietary-induced thermogenesis (DIT).

The Thermic Effect:

Unlike fats and carbohydrates, which have a TEF of around 5-15%, protein boasts a much higher TEF, estimated to be around 20-35%. In simpler terms, your body burns more calories digesting protein-rich foods, contributing to increased energy expenditure.

Muscle Matters:

Another way protein boosts metabolism is by preserving and building lean muscle mass. Muscles are metabolically active tissues, meaning they burn calories even at rest. When you consume an adequate amount of protein, you provide your muscles with the necessary building blocks for repair and growth. This, in turn, helps maintain or increase your muscle mass, leading to a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Satiety and Blood Sugar Control:

Protein also plays a crucial role in appetite regulation. Compared to fats and carbohydrates, protein has been shown to promote feelings of fullness and satiety, which can aid in reducing overall calorie intake. This is especially the case when having 'empty calories' or foods that have a strong bliss point to keep you wanting more. By helping you feel satisfied for longer periods, protein can indirectly support body composition goals.

Choosing Quality Sources:

Not all protein sources are created equal. While animal products like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy are complete proteins, providing all essential amino acids, plant-based sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and nuts can also contribute to your protein intake. Aim for a variety of protein sources to ensure you're getting a diverse array of nutrients.

In terms of protein shakes, I have been using Go Good protein for over six months now. I am extremely selective about what I put in my body and have a good understanding of ingredients being in the industry. I use this protein powder daily. I have a tub both at home and my office! I will do a full review on this but if you want to try use the code DRJULIE for my exclusive 15% off. 

Practical Tips:

Incorporating protein into your meals doesn't have to be complicated. Here are some simple tips to help you increase your protein intake and support your metabolism:

  1. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast, such as Greek yogurt with nuts and berries or scrambled eggs with spinach.
  2. Include a source of protein in each meal and snack. Examples include grilled chicken breast, lentil soup, cottage cheese, or edamame.
  3. Have a quality protein powder on hand (just as I have explained above) this means it is a snack and/or protein boost to a meal in an easy way.
  4. Experiment with plant-based protein sources to diversify your nutrient intake.
  5. Include a source of protein even if having something less nutrient dense - for example a protein shake and a cookie together - as this will help to balance your blood sugar and feeling of fullness.

Protein isn't just for bodybuilders or those training heavily; it's an essential nutrient for everyone looking to optimise their health and metabolism. By including adequate amounts of protein in your diet, you can increase your metabolic rate, support muscle maintenance, and enhance feelings of fullness, all of which contribute to a healthier, more energetic you.

All of my DJK food range keeps this core principle in mind! This is why I have added nuts and seeds into both muesli options. You will find chia seeds in my 'healthy jam' and in my cookie mixes there are ground almonds and flax seeds! I have got you! 

So, next time you're planning your meals, remember to give protein the attention it deserves. Your metabolism will thank you for it!

Dr Julie x

P.S I talk about this topic and also answer some caller questions on this and similar around boosting metabolism, PCOS and more over the next couple of weeks - plus have quite a few on where to start on body composition changes and much more - tune in where you get all your podcasts from!


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