It’s a key nutritional building block that among other things is essential for helping the body to fight disease, produce vital hormones and blood, promote good skin and hair, and develop and maintain healthy body tissues.

And when it comes to losing weight, it’s especially critical to maintain a regular protein intake throughout the day by including protein rich-food not just within your three main meals, but also as part of healthy snacks between meals.

But why is protein such an important part of a healthy weight loss eating plan?

Regular protein is essential to help reduce fatigue, increase stamina and avoid hypoglycaemia, a condition caused by low blood sugar, the symptoms of which can include tiredness, lack of energy, feeling weak and sluggish, and even anxiety and nausea.

Typically these symptoms can dip and rise during the course of the day in response to our eating routine, which is why the phenomenon is often referred to as the “hypoglycaemia roller coaster.” That’s why it is so important to guard against this by eating protein every three to four hours, hence the need to include it in snacks as well as within your three main meals of the day.

Protein is also critical during weight loss because as the body burns fat, it is essential to protect the body’s muscles and other tissue from wasting away along with the fat by maintaining a consistent and regular intake of protein.

In maintaining your protein intake, it is important to avoid foods, such as fatty meats for example, which although rich in protein also contain fat, especially saturated fat. That’s why sensibly sized portions of low fat protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, eggs, pulses, nuts, cheese and seeds are such an important part of a healthy eating weight loss plan.

Because many protein-rich foods also frequently contain a high amount of fats or carbohydrates, here at Motivation we strongly recommend to our clients that they include our range of specifically formulated protein supplements within our healthy eating plans. These provide the extra protein the body needs above and beyond that achieved by dietary intake with a minimal amount of fats or carbohydrates.

Protein is also helpful to weight loss because it is more quickly sensed by the brain’s satiety centre than carbohydrates or fats, so reducing cravings sweet or salty treats. And whether you hanker for a chocolate bar, milkshake, cereal, cold drink or hearty soup, there is a form and flavour of protein supplements to accommodate you.

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Blog Post by Aisling Connolly