A diet generous in lean protein such as chicken, fish, and lean meats can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, steadying your blood sugar, and much more, says Dr. Mike Moreno, author of The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results.
1. Digesting protein takes more energy (calories) than digesting carbs or fat does; thus, your body burns a few extra calories after eating protein.
2. Including ample protein in your diet spurs one of your body’s fat-burning mechanisms: the production of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon signals your body to move dietary fat into your bloodstream and use it for energy rather than just store it.
3. Consuming enough protein helps you preserve lean muscle mass that might otherwise be sacrificed on a rapid weight loss diet. Of course, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.
4. Eating protein helps keep your blood sugar on an even keel, so you don’t get the shakes or drops in energy.
5. Having enough protein in your diet boosts your metabolism, and it does this by stepping up the action of your thyroid gland. (One of the main duties of the thyroid is to regulate metabolism.)
6. Including protein with meals helps tame your appetite so that you don’t stuff yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Michael Rafael Moreno, author of The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results, better known as Dr. Mike, is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Hahnemann Medical School (now Drexel University). Following his residency at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, Dr. Mike moved to San Diego, where he now practices family medicine and sits on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. In 2008, Dr. Mike launched “Walk with Your Doc” (http://www.walkwithyourdoc.com), which he participates in every Tuesday and Thursday morning before his workday begins. The program began when Dr. Mike offered to walk with a patient to motivate her to exercise, and has since grown into a thriving community.