Research Confirms These Two Belly Fat Blasters
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
The Power of Protein
Protein has been identified in numerous scientific studies to help you fight unhealthy body fat gain and stay young and vital (Anderson GH, 2004, Clifton PM et al, 2008).
High protein foods like free-range organic eggs, turkey, salmon, tuna, and beef are great for keeping you feeling full, without making you gain weight.
Although these foods are sometimes criticized because they may also contain dietary fat or cholesterol, when they are consumed as part of a whole-food, unprocessed diet, they greatly assist a person in their weight loss and healthy body weight-maintenance efforts.
Plus, natural occurring sources of dietary fat and cholesterol are not to blame for the diseases that plague mankind – it’s all the processed and manufactured sugars and fats that are the problem.
The key thing with protein is that it increases meal satiety and, therefore, can make it easier to adhere to a reduced (but adequate) energy dietary plan.
And, there is little to no evidence that higher protein diets (not excessive protein, but higher than what the RDA recommends) consumed by healthy, active people are harmful for your kidneys (Lowery and Devia, 2009).
Why Whey is Wonderful
In particular, one high-protein food that has shown great evidence for helping people lose weight and stay satisfied is whey protein.
Whey protein is derived from milk and is found in a convenient and tasty powdered form for easy mixture into smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and even baking (baked goods of the healthy variety, that is…).
Adding whey protein to foods that aren’t normally high in protein, increases the protein content to a satisfying level and helps you stick to a healthy eating plan.
Scientists have shown that whey protein promotes fullness and curbs hunger better than other powdered proteins, like soy and casein. It also can out-satisfy whole-food proteins like turkey, tuna, and egg.
• Researchers from the Netherlands compared whey protein to soy and casein (casein is the other protein found in milk) on markers of satiety and hunger. Twenty-five healthy men and women were given a custard breakfast made with either whey, soy, or casein protein, and then presented with a lunch three hours later. The protein from whey suppressed appetite and improved satiety significantly more than the soy and casein, such that the men and women ate much less food at lunch (Pal S, et al, 2010).
• Australian researchers compared an isocaloric drink containing whey to a whole-food meal of tuna, turkey, or egg. The whey protein prompted lower hunger scores and reduced food intake at a buffet presented to subjects four hours later (Veldhorst MA et al, 2009).
• Women given a beverage with 5 to 20 grams of whey protein mixed in water, had less hunger and ate less at a subsequent meal, than women who just drank plain water (Poppitt SD et al, 2011).
From all these studies and more, you can see that whey protein is one way to help you eat less food and stay on track with good, clean food choices.
So when you’re looking for a midday snack, need energy before a workout, or want to curb your hunger before a big meal, reach for protein, specifically whey protein, to give you energy and reduce your appetite.
You also definitely want to drink a whey protein drink instead of a sugary sports drink because the protein will keep you satisfied for quite a long time, but the carbohydrates in the sports drink will not, and you’ll feel just as hungry as if you didn’t drink it at all.
• Researchers found that when a high-protein drink was compared to a high-carbohydrate drink rich in maltodextrin, the protein beverage reduced hunger and subsequent food intake at a test meal over four hours later, whereas the carb drink did nothing at all (Latner JD and Schwartz M, 1999).
• Gram for gram, when protein in a beverage is compared to a drinkable carbohydrate, protein is more satiating and can reduce energy intake much more, which will help with energy balance and body weight control (Bertenshaw EJ et al, 2008).
When you need a between meal food and you don’t have much time (who does nowadays?), reach for whey protein, not a sports drink, and you’ll be less hungry and less likely to overeat at your next meal.
For some time now, nutrition experts have been recommending that you make good food choices that will leave you feeling full without adding lots of extra calories.
They suggest that you drink lots of fluids, like water or diet beverages, to increase stomach fullness. They also recommend energy-dense foods like proteins and good fats that will keep you satisfied for long periods of time.
But probably the easiest way to feel full is to eat foods that are high in fiber.
Fiber is at the forefront of weight loss success stories, and for good reason.
Beyond keeping you regular, the bulking action of fiber slows down the emptying of food from the stomach and makes blood glucose levels rise and fall more gently. This provides a steady supply of nutrients for your body to use, which translates into feeling fuller longer.
And you guessed it, when you feel full, you won’t overeat.
In fact, when you eat a fiber-rich meal, you can actually consume less food than you normally would, and still feel satisfied.
Less food means fewer calories, and fewer calories means less body fat.
With fiber, your calorie intake can easily be reduced to a level that can help you achieve your body composition goals without feeling like you haven’t eaten your fill.
Better still, fiber is thought to block calorie absorption by keeping the intestines from breaking down the caloric parts of food.
• A USDA study found that women who doubled their fiber intake from 12 to 24 g per day, absorbed 90 fewer calories—that could add to a 10-pound weight loss in just one year by doing nothing other than eating more fibrous foods (Baer DJ et al, 1997).
• In another study out of Penn State, obese women who ate foods with higher water and fiber content lost 40% more weight than women who simply limited portion size and cut back on fat.
All of these beneficial aspects of fiber can help you achieve a healthy body weight and look great in your skinny jeans.
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