Monday, November 29, 2010

A Little More Protein Helps Keep the Pounds Off

Losing weight, while difficult, can be done using any number of diets. Obviously some diets are healthier than others, but weight loss through dietary means ultimately boils down to limiting the number of calories you take in - regardless of what you're consuming. Keeping weight off, it turns out, might just be a little bit more complicated, according to researchers.

Once a person reaches their weight goal, they must readjust the number of calories they consume to promote weight maintenance, not loss. But it turns out that at this point, what a person eats to maintain their weight can actually help or hinder their ability to keep the pounds off. But the good news is that the diets that have been found to work best are also the easiest to stick to, and are backed by sound science.

It has been shown that diets slightly higher in protein - that is, on the higher end of what is recommended, but not more - so about 30% of your caloric intake, when paired with foods low on the glycemic index, deliver the best results. This all makes perfect sense if you break it down a little further. Low-GI foods are more slowly digested and sugars are released into the bloodstream gradually, not spiking blood glucose or insulin levels. These foods also tend to be higher in fibre, which promotes feelings of fullness. In addition, protein is an important factor that is associated with feelings of satisfaction. So if you're full and satisfied, and your blood sugar is not spiking or dipping, you're likely to stay healthy and happy, and able to maintain your weight for longer! No wonder diets high in vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and lean protein are said to be the healthiest in the world.