National Protein Day: Lack of protein causes overeating! 5 ways to fix it

Your unwarranted hunger and occasional overeating can be due to any number of reasons. However, one of the main reasons for this is an inadequate diet, especially a lack of protein. When your body is properly nourished, you are more likely to succeed and regain control of your hunger, cravings and overeating. However, a protein deficiency may make you feel hungry more often and may lead to weight gain.

Health Shots reached out to Deepti Lokeshappa, Senior Consultant and Dietitian and Nutritionist at Indiranagar Mothers Hospital, Bangalore, to find out why a lack of protein in your diet can lead you to overeating and how to prevent it.

Lack of protein can lead to overeating and obesity

Many people think that foods rich in protein and fat will make them fat. However, they can actually help with weight loss. how? Well, protein increases many satiety hormones and lowers appetite hormones. Therefore, you won't overeat because you will feel satisfied for a long time. It can also help with weight loss. On the other hand, insufficient protein intake may lead to increased appetite, weight gain, and obesity.

lack of protein
Watch your protein intake! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The Science Behind the Link Between Protein Deficiency and Overeating

A recent study by researchers at the University of Sydney found that protein starvation may be a driver of overeating and obesity. The study suggests that a lack of protein in the body can trigger hunger and lead to overeating. You could end up eating foods high in unhealthy fats and sugar.

Also read: Protein is the most important nutrient. But does the amount we need change as we age?

In a series of experiments on mice and humans, the researchers found that protein-deficient individuals were more likely to choose high-calorie foods and ate larger amounts of food overall. The researchers also found that when protein-deficient mice were given a high-protein diet, they ate less food and lost weight.

The study highlights the importance of getting enough protein in the diet, especially for those trying to manage their weight.

5 Ways to Combat Protein Deficiency

Here are 5 easy ways to increase your protein intake:

1. Eat more protein-rich foods

You should include protein-rich foods in your meals. Foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, turkey, and other meats are good sources of protein for non-vegetarians. If you are vegetarian, you can eat beans, tofu, soybeans, lentils, almonds, green beans and pumpkin seeds. They're both great sources of protein and readily available.

lack of protein
Protein is really important for controlling overeating. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Eat high-protein foods

Eating foods like almonds, cheese, and Greek yogurt will help increase your daily protein intake to cope with hunger pangs. Eating healthy snacks is a great way to reduce your risk of overeating and weight gain.

3. Use protein powder

According to Lokeshappa, protein powders come in both plant-based and animal-based forms. An easy way to boost your protein intake is to mix protein powder into your smoothie or cereal. For best results, mix protein powder with cold water and milk before drinking.

4. Choose a protein-rich breakfast

If you start your day with a protein-rich breakfast like eggs or Greek yogurt, you'll feel fuller longer. Dalia, bean sprout salad, cheese boogie, poha, chilla and uttapam.

lack of protein
Add protein and avoid overeating. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Opt for protein bars or snacks

Protein bars and snacks are a convenient option for anyone who travels a lot and needs a quick protein boost. It's an easy way to supplement your diet with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In fact, it can help reduce the unwanted cravings that lead to overeating.

So ladies, make sure you include enough protein in your diet to avoid protein deficiency and its detrimental effects on hunger and weight.

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