When it comes to weight loss or healthy eating, protein often gets overlooked. Focusing on fat and carbs as the go-to nutrients for dropping pounds can lead to a lopsided diet. Protein is essential for losing weight because it helps you feel full, aids in fat burning, and supports a healthy metabolism.
Reducing calories and cutting carbs will lead to weight loss almost regardless of what source those calories come from — protein, fat, or carbohydrates. However, each nutrient has its own role in keeping you slim and healthy. Protein has some distinct advantages over carbs and fats when it comes to losing weight.
Here are some things to know about why prioritizing protein for health and weight loss is crucial for your diet.
Increased Protein Needs as We Age
Recent research has revealed that as we age, our protein requirements increase. It is a macronutrient responsible for repairing and building tissue throughout the body, including muscle and organ tissue. It is a necessary component of our bones, skin, muscles, hair, blood and cartilage. It is critical to help carry oxygen throughout the body, which gives us more energy. It also helps your body create antibodies that fight infection and ward off illness. This means we need it in just about every function our bodies undergo every day.
When we get older, our protein needs increase, especially with illness, during hospitalization and to prevent unwanted weight loss and muscle deterioration. We also require more protein for strength and to preserve muscle mass. Even if you are healthy, chances are you require up to 33% more protein than when you were younger.
Common Reasons Behind Reduced Protein Intake
Unfortunately, many people consume less protein as their digestion slows and they simply feel less hungry. Many other factors play a role in decreased protein intake, including dental issues, impaired taste or swallowing problems. When muscles deteriorate, it could create an unhealthy cycle of lessened appetite, so less protein is consumed, leading to further muscle deterioration and lowered appetite. At least one research study found that those who have difficulty climbing stairs and walking were those who ate the least amount of protein.
Eat Quality Sources of Protein
Make protein with a healthy portion of fat, such as ribeye steak, the staple of your diet. Here are some healthy sources of protein to fit into your daily regimen:
- High quality animal protein (grass fed, organic, etc.)
- Free range eggs
- Fatty fish and other seafood
- Drink bone broth on a regular basis
- Cheese and dairy products if you can tolerate them
Whole eggs are actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. They contain a little bit of almost every single nutrient we need. They even contain powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes, and lots of choline, a brain nutrient that 90% of people don’t get enough of.
Learn About Other Simple Strategies for Your Health
If you are looking to shed those extra pounds and maintain a healthy body, then you will want to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet. Protein helps us repair and grow our muscles that tend to deteriorate with age, which makes it an important nutrient for weight loss. For more simple dietary changes that can protect your health, check out the Age Defying Video Program.