Will Sugar Cravings Decrease If I Eat More Protein?
In my last blog, I discussed how essential it is to consume carbohydrates. Now let’s look at the importance of protein. I find very few of my clients are fearful of protein, which seems to stem from the messages from the media telling us that if we consume lots of protein, that means we will lose weight and fit into society’s view of perfection.
We should consume a variety of nutrients from all food groups. We do not gain or lose weight from certain foods. For example – if we eat fat, like butter, it does not immediately turn into fat in the body, nor do protein rich foods immediately turn into muscle in the body. All food breaks down to nutrients and our body uses them where they’re needed. We don't gain muscle weight when eating protein rich foods nor weight in fat when we consume fat rich foods. That’s not how our body works.
Foods containing protein are broken down to smaller molecules in our body called amino acids. Examples of a few protein-rich foods are meat, dairy products, eggs, nuts, lentils, soy, tofu, and tempeh. Protein is essential for our body to build muscle as muscle is made up of amino acids. We need to be physically active though in order to use protein we eat to make muscle. This can include walking, yoga, and light activity. This does not include over exercise nor extra intense workouts as these stress the body out and can be counterproductive.
The other essential reason we need to consume protein is that it is needed to send the signal to our brain that we have eaten, which helps us feel satisfied. If we eat toast for breakfast, it has very little protein, so our brain is not told we have eaten and that’s when clients start to notice sugar cravings and often overeat the rest of the day. As opposed to if we have a couple of eggs or Greek yogurt with our toast, the brain gets the signal that we have eaten and often we have less cravings and overall, more satiety. So, if you find that you never feel satisfied during the day or are constantly craving sugar, try to have a bit more protein for breakfast and see if this helps.