During the busy holiday season, many people tend to work out less. And with multiple celebratory feasts, many people tend to overeat and/or consume much heavier foods than they typically eat.
Here is the simplest tip to help you not gain weight this holiday season: load up on the PROTEIN. Pro Tip: Every meal (and snack) should contain protein.
Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids that are essential to the human body. Choosing to load your plate with more of the main course (meat/protein) will leave you feeling full and satisfied. And opting for smaller tastes of the carb-heavy and fat-saturated sides allows you to appreciate and enjoy these indulgences without overdoing it.
Studies show that increasing protein consumption causes significantly less weight gain than increasing the consumption of other foods. When you eat protein-rich foods, your body breaks the protein down into building blocks (amino acids) and uses them for various functions. Like most people, you may associate protein with something you need to eat to build muscle, but it’s also crucial for many other functions. For example, protein is necessary for producing hormones, which help regulate metabolism.
Protein also has enzymes responsible for regulating chemical reactions in the body. They are needed for digestion, muscle and nerve function, respiration, and thousands of other roles. Without enzymes, proteins would not be able to perform their essential functions. And vice versa, your enzymes will only do their best with a sufficient amount of quality protein!
So, next time you’re grabbing a second helping of turkey, or ham, you’re not just satisfying your appetite or giving your muscles nutrients — you’re also helping your body function properly. Essentially, protein helps our bodies THRIVE!
Twenty different amino acids are needed to form a protein. Out of these 20, nine are essential, meaning our bodies can’t produce them. Therefore, we must get them from food sources.
Animal proteins contain all nine of these essential amino acids, which is why they’re considered ‘complete’ proteins. However, most plant protein sources lack one or more of these essential amino acids.
You can still get protein from plants, though. It means you must be more creative in your food combinations. For example, you could pair rice with beans or nuts and seeds to make a complete protein. If you prefer something other than animal protein, this is something to keep in mind for your Thanksgiving meal.
Consuming more protein can reduce hunger and appetite, making you less likely to snack on late-night leftovers. This means that larger portions of turkey and smaller portions of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie can help limit your weight gain while still allowing you to enjoy the holiday spread!
About the Author: Brittinie Wick is an Air Force Veteran turned Health and Fitness Coach who founded Brittinie Wick Fitness. Her mission is to empower all women, through fitness and nutrition, to gain confidence, lose weight, and celebrate the feeling of being strong and sexy. Grab her “Healthy at Every Age” guide! This ebook is aimed at people just like you, who want to live their BEST, MOST ACTIVE life, starting TODAY and continuing deep into the future!