A while back I wrote about the switch I've made to Eating Clean and some of the key points anyone should know when starting on a Clean diet. Some of these things were very easy to incorporate into my lifestyle, but some have required a bit more thought. One that took a while to implement was the importance of eating protein at every meal. Before reading The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno, I would maybe have protein twice a day. Maybe. Most of the time it was just at dinner, though. Now, though, I've found it easy to fit protein in to my meal plans and I've seen results in my energy, my scale and my overall health!
So, then, this begs the question - why do we need protein at every meal?
As seems to be the case so often when it comes to weight loss, it all comes down to the metabolism! When we eat, our body reacts to the food by digesting it and sending the nutrients throughout our bodies to where they can be used. If we have excess nutrients that we don't use through exercise or the basic day-to-day processes we go through, these are stored as fat.
What we eat will affect how our body digests, and in turn how our body stores or uses the food we have eaten. Protein has the highest thermic effect, or the amount of energy used to digest and process the food. Because of this, it takes our body longer and uses more energy to digest protein than anything else we might eat. Eating protein keeps our metabolism and energy revved, whereas fats or carbs don't has such a lasting effect on our metabolism. So, by including protein in every meal, we are able to keep our metabolism going all day long and stay energetic throughout the day!
Since eating protein with each of my meals, I no longer get sluggish right after eating - I get energized!
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding (but in this case, I'll say the proof is in the protein!)