While some people are born with a naturally fast metabolism, others have to. A faster metabolism allows you to burn more calories throughout the day, so it’s important for weight maintenance and loss. Thankfully, studies show that even if you weren’t genetically blessed (like that annoying friend who eats everything and never gains a pound), there is in fact something you can do.
A high protein diet may be just what you need to accelerate your metabolism. Protein helps suppress ghrelin, or better known as the hunger hormone. In simpler terms, it helps your body feel like it’s actually full.
While protein is found in every tissue of your body, it’s extremely dense in muscle. Combined with exercise and weight lifting, consuming more protein can increase your muscle mass. This matters because boosting your muscle mass allows your body to burn more calories.
Up to 30% of usable energy in protein goes to your metabolism, directly impacting your body fat percentage. You burn more calories when eating protein since your body is working harder to digest the food. Protein digestion accelerates metabolic rate by 20–35%, while digesting carbs compares at a rate of 5–15%. This is also known as the thermic effect of food.
Aside from scientific studies about why protein is so good for your metabolism, it boils down to something simple. When we feed our bodies more protein, we’re replacing lower quality carbs that cause us to constantly feel hungry and sluggish.
What exactly is a high protein diet? 35 percent of total energy intake is considered high-protein. That means 10-35% of your daily calories.
Boosting your protein intake doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Use one day out of the week to meal prep high protein meals for lunch or dinner. This could mean grilling chicken and roasting vegetables for the week. Keeping your fridge stocked with low sugar, ready to grab protein drinks allows you to choose better options even when you’re strapped on time.