In today’s rapidly changing world, obesity, has become a global trouble. This excess accumulation of body fat is affecting individuals of all ages, from teenagers to kids.
Did you know? Asian Indians are more prone to abdominal obesity.
The accumulation of visceral fat, which is the fat around abdominal organs, making them more vulnerable to heart diseases, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions. (1)
When it comes to weight management, diet plays a very important role. Specifically, a protein-rich breakfast. We typically hear that eating less is the key to losing weight, but there’s an interesting twist to this story. When consumed in greater quantities, there’s one nutrient that can actually help with weight loss. Unexpectedly, it lacks protein in most Indian diets, especially vegetarian diets. (2)
Protein, the building block of life, is involved in various biological processes. Dietary protein is required to replace protein lost from the shedding of skin, hair, nails, cells in the gastrointestinal tract, and protein-containing secretions. Rebalancing nutrients by reducing excessive carbs and improving protein not only helps with weight management but also reduces cravings as it keeps you full for a longer time.
Here are some of the incredible ways in which protein rich foods can make a difference in your weight loss journey.
Protein & Weight Loss
1. Keeps you fuller for longer:
Protein takes longer to digest than other nutrients, promoting a sense of fullness and reducing the urge for unnecessary snacking, thus reducing overall calorie intake. Additionally, a diet rich in adequate protein triggers the release of certain gut hormones that promote a feeling of fullness. (3) This further helps to curb cravings, which is the biggest challenge for individuals on the weight loss journey. Studies have found that a high-protein breakfast compared to a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduces the overall energy intake throughout the day. (4)
This simply means that protein-rich foods are key for weight loss.
2. Preserves muscle mass:
Muscle mass is a metabolically active tissue, which means it burns more calories than fat at rest. Our bodies build muscle using amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Dietary protein is essential for replenishing the proteins lost through processes like shedding skin, hair, nails, gastrointestinal cell turnover, and protein-containing secretions. In the absence of sufficient protein, muscle mass is broken down to provide amino acids for other processes. (5) Thus, consuming protein-rich food items affects your metabolic rate by preventing muscle loss and a decline in energy expenditure. (6)
3. Helps burn more calories:
When we consume food, our body expends energy to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients. This energy expenditure is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Each nutrient has a different TEF. However, protein demands more energy to be metabolized and absorbed compared to carbohydrates and fats. (4) As a result, when you eat a protein-rich Indian veg food, a greater proportion of calories are expended for digestion and metabolic processes, adding to the overall energy expenditure. Thus, a protein rich breakfast will result in a higher “net” calorie burn compared to any other breakfast.
4. Blood sugar management:
Our body breaks down the food, which then enters the bloodstream, and our blood sugar rises. Unlike carbohydrates, which can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar followed by crashes, protein has a stabilizing effect. It slows the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, resulting in a gradual and steady increase in blood sugar levels. This can help prevent the sharp spikes and drops that can trigger cravings and overeating. (7) Protein-rich food items help to avoid blood sugar spikes and thus prevent the development of insulin resistance, thus aiding weight loss. The INDIAB study, focused on Indian participants, clearly states that incorporating at least 20% of your calorie needs from protein helps with better blood sugar management, even in diabetics. (8)
How to Include Adequate Protein in Your Diet:
- Consuming protein-rich foods like Prolicious khakras, Thins, dosas, and chillies helps you meet your daily protein needs without compromising on taste. All of these contain a minimum of 20% protein, which not only keeps you fuller for longer but also satisfies your taste buds.
Did You Know? Prolicious offers an extravagant range of delicious snacks and meal mixes. Check them out here.
2. Incorporate a combination of cereal and pulse in your meal, as it’s a complete source of plant-based protein.
3. Incorporate nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes into your meals and snacks to ensure an adequate intake of protein.
Six Protein Rich Indian Veg Foods You Need to Consume
Here are a few protein-rich Indian food items to meet your protein requirements:
- Prolicious food products: Thins, khakhra, oats, chilla, pasta
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and Oilseeds
- Combination of cereals or millets with pulses
- Soy, tofu, and other soy products
- Milk and milk products
In conclusion, protein is a valuable asset for a long-term weight-loss journey. It helps to preserve muscle mass, keep you fuller for longer, stabilize blood sugar, and effortlessly increase overall energy expenditure. As you make informed dietary choices and incorporate Prolicious and other protein-rich options into your meals, you'll discover how protein can be a powerful and delicious ally on your journey to achieving a healthier, leaner you.