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Protein Power! Snack Away!

June 2, 2009

The typical person in a western culture consumes without a doubt more daily calories than he or she needs. Our Cupboards are filled with snack foods full of fats and sugars which provide us with hundreds of extra calories that slow our metabolism and are stored as fat. Today, technology allows us to find protein packed bars, drinks, soups, and nuts. These new snacks aren’t the cardboard tasting bars we knew in the beginning of the health craze, but give us the flavor we want without the empty calories of sugar or the quick high followed by the inevitable crash.

Protein snacks are much different from Grandma’s sugar cookies. Let’s take a look at how protein power can help us get slimmed down and looking our best. To begin, protein sends specific signals to the brain. These signals cause our body to feel full and satisfied. This in turn, means that we will be more likely to control our appetite, and snack less than if we continued to eat sugars and fats. The result is simple. We will cut our calories and have more control with our weight. According to Dr. David Heber, recent clinical research supports this physiologic phenomenon.

Secondly, a better thermogenic effect is a reason for choosing protein as a snack. The thermogenic effect is basically the metabolic effort that it takes our body to digest a food once we have ingested it. Our body must work much harder to digest protein than it does to digest sugar or fat. What does this mean for you? Basically, when you choose to eat protein over sugar or fat, your body will have to burn more calories in order to digest it. This is a great benefit because protein is usually low in calories, so our bodies are working harder, or burning more calories, on fewer calories.

Another important reason to choose protein snacks instead of sugars and fats is lean muscle. Our body’s constantly need to restore the building blocks of muscle tissue. Muscle is important for many reasons. Obviously, muscle is vital to movement and our daily tasks. But, muscle also determines our metabolism. The more lean healthy muscle mass we are able to maintain in our bodies, the higher our metabolism will be, and that high metabolism helps us to stay lean throughout our lives.

Now when you want to reach for a snack, think for a moment and choose a protein-rich bar, drink or soup. Get the high-calorie cookies, cakes, chips and sweets out of the house. They all generally have more calories without providing our bodies much nutritional value at all. Take in less calories, supercharge your metabolism, and forget about hunger all day long!

Jim is a personal wellness coach who helps people reach their weight loss goals and lead more healthy and active lives. He has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado and has worked in the field of health for over ten years. To learn more about getting healthier and more active visit Jim’s website at:



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