Protein is an essential nutrient known to help with bulking up, but it also plays a key role when you are trying to lose weight.
If you’re looking to gain muscle, the recommendation is to consume higher amounts of protein. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s also recommended that you consume higher amounts when you want to lose weight. But when it comes to weight loss, the type of protein is just as important as the amount.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about the role protein can play in your weight loss journey.
How Protein Supports Weight Loss
When you’re on your weight loss journey, your total daily calorie intake will be less than the number of calories your body burns throughout the day; adding extra protein to your diet may feel like the wrong step, as some protein sources can be high in calories.
However, digesting protein requires a lot of energy. This means that even though you’re consuming higher amounts of protein, your body will likely burn more of the calories than store them.
When you’re trying to lose weight, adding extra protein has been shown to help keep you feeling full and more satisfied for longer, therefore making you less likely to snack throughout the day.
Protein also serves as the building block for gaining muscle mass and maintaining strength, which is vital for supporting fitness and agility. Muscle mass also helps help support bone and joint health, so it’s important to make sure you’re consuming plenty of high-quality protein throughout your weight loss journey.
Which Foods Are Rich in Protein?
If you’re following an OPTIFAST Intermittent Fasting or Partial Meal Replacement diet plan, you’ll be able to consume more conventional foods than when you’re following our total diet replacement plan. This means you can incorporate some protein-rich ingredients in your diet to support your weight loss journey.
Ingredients that are low in calories but high in protein include:
- Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils
Low-Calorie Protein Meal Ideas
Use the above ingredients to create some tasty low-calorie, high-protein meals, such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Tofu scramble with fresh vegetables
- Egg white omelettes
- Smoked salmon salad
- Tuna niçoise salad
- Chickpea curry or stew
- Three-bean chilli
- Quinoa salad bowl
- Cauliflower rice kedgeree
- Vietnamese chicken lettuce cups
The options are endless – just make sure you’re pairing your chosen protein source with plenty of fresh veg, salad or other low-calorie ingredients to help keep your weight loss on track.
OPTIFAST Protein Plus
New to the OPTIFAST range of meal replacement products is the OPTIFAST Protein Plus Shake, a low-calorie high protein shake that’s ideal for increasing your protein intake when you’re following a weight loss plan.