The majority of us would like to be a little slimmer, and many of us need to lose excess body fat to prevent associated health complications. As you know, losing weight can be frustrating and seem outright impossible. Many give up and accept defeat, declaring “there must be something wrong with my metabolism!!”
You are likely right! Losing weight is not as simple as reducing calories or increasing activity. Current research suggests that the “calorie in – calorie out” approach does not work for long-term weight loss. This is because there are many other factors that affect our metabolism including sleep, stress, toxins in our environment, synthetic food substances, food intolerances, and imbalances in the bacteria in our digestive tract. In addition, the timing, macronutrient composition (protein/carbs/fat), and quality of your foods also influence your metabolic rate.
During the next few weeks, I’ll share 4 metabolism boosting tips that will get you in top shape for summer!
Metabolism Booster #1 – Start the Day with Protein
Eating protein early in the day seems to affect gastrointestinal hormones, which signal the brain to adjust appetite and satiety. It makes you feel more full than an equivalent amount of calories from carbohydrates and it speeds up metabolism and builds muscle so you burn more calories all day long and even while you sleep.
How can you bump up the protein in your morning meal? Instead of bacon and sausage, choose whole food protein sources such as eggs, dairy (esp. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese), legumes (beans and soy), nuts, nut butters, seeds, and even chicken or fish.
How much should you eat? Protein requirements depend on your weight and activity level. At a minimum, aim for 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (weight in pounds divided by 2.2) each day. Plan to include at least 25-30% of this total for breakfast.
For example, a 150-pound person would aim for 15 grams of protein for breakfast:
150 pounds divided by 2.2 = 68 kilograms
68 kilograms X 0.8 grams/kilogram = 54 grams of protein per day
Breakfast: 54 grams X 25-30% = 14-16 grams
Foods that provide approximately this much protein include 2 eggs, one container of Greek Yogurt, 2 ounces of chicken, 1 cup of beans, or ½ cup of cottage cheese.
If you are not currently eating breakfast or if you are a die-hard cereal eater, try this strategy for one week and notice if it makes a difference for you.
What is your favorite protein-rich breakfast?