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Among the different recommendations for avoiding overeating and feeling full for longer, you will hear about increasing your protein quite a bit. Like fiber, protein has many unique qualities that can help fill you up faster and keep you fuller for a longer period of time. It is not a magical appetite suppressant, but it can definitely help.
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Protein Can Fill You Up
Protein is often recommended to people who are trying to lose weight, with more protein encouraged in people with heavy exercise regimens and body builders. Why? Because it helps to regulate your hunger hormones. More protein in your diet can help to reduce those hunger pangs to have a more balanced diet. It tends to fill you up faster with less food, and keep you fuller longer, similar to fiber. While studies are still being done to determine why that is, protein is good for you and an essential nutrient, so it doesn’t hurt to add more protein to your diet.
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It Affects Weight-Regulating Hormones
One suggestion about why protein helps is because it has shown to have positive effects on your weight-regulating hormones. This is due to the hypothalamus part of your brain where you have a response to hunger and eating. So much of what your body experiences is mental and starts right there in your brain.
While you might notice positive changes when adding more protein to your diet, that doesn’t mean you need to do an extreme diet like Atkins or the Carnivore diet. These are extremely high-protein diets, but many people struggle because they discourage fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods you need for proper balance.
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Healthy Protein Sources
Not all protein sources are healthy and good for you, so it is important you understand the difference between lean protein and fatty protein. For healthy sources of protein, go for low-fat dairy, poultry and chicken, lean beef and pork cuts, and eggs. Try to stay away from eating an abundance of full-fat milk and cheese, fatty red meat, and baked goods that might have some protein in them. You don’t need to cut out any foods, but if you are increasing your protein, increase the right type of protein.
This is going to benefit you the most and will help to control your appetite without packing on the pounds if your goal is to maintain your weight or lose weight.