By February 19, 2012

What Dieters Need to Know About Protein and Carbs

When eating a meal, you don’t just want to feel full; you want to feel satisfied. Certain foods, often called “comfort foods”, give you that satisfied feeling more than others. This is a major point of difficulty for almost any dieter.

The problem isn’t just eating too much food; it’s what kind of foods you eat. You can stuff yourself to the brim with green veggies and drink water constantly and gain little or no weight. But if you eat half as much fried foods instead of that salad, and drink half as much soda instead of that water, it can have a devastating effect on your body. The problem isn’t just overeating, it’s overeating the wrong foods.

So why do we do that? Why does it make a difference to our stomach what’s inside it as long as it’s full? Funny how we can pack ourselves air tight with salad and still want more, and only after eating something big and greasy do we finally feel content.

Some foods are just more satisfying than others. A successful diet depends not just on finding healthier foods, but also on finding healthier satisfying foods. Eating right will only do you good for so long if you still have cravings constantly haunting you. Eventually, you may find yourself caving in to the pressure. Diets work better if you can find a way to keep cravings at bay, instead of just trying to ignore them.

A important thing to remember is that protein is not the same as cards, especially if you have an exercise routine going with your diet. What sort of foods are the most satisfying to us? Typically it’s the strong, hearty tasting foods. A lot of foods like this tend to have a lot of carbs. But foods that are high in protein also tend to be very hearty and satisfying. Making sure you get at least some protein in every meal can help stop cravings and keep you from giving into temptation the next time you drive by a fast food place.

When picking your meals, focus on protein without the carbs. Lean, skinless white meat chicken will have no less protein than a deep fried counterpart. Meats are the most common source of protein for many people. But try to focus on things like skinless white meat chicken, turkey, or fish. Too much red meat isn’t good for you either.

But meat isn’t the only source of protein. It’s good to keep alternatives in mind because you don’t want to prepare an entire chicken breast for the sake of a snack craving. There are lots of little things you can eat with enough protein to keep you feeling full.

Nuts and beans are good sources of protein, and make great side dishes for hearty meals as well as standalone snacks. They’re quick, and easy to prepare. You can even carry nuts on your person for cravings on the go. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a basic peanut, and one that’s been coated in salt and/or dipped in chocolate. Almonds make a good, quick snack.

Another snack that is high in protein is yogurt. Add some fruit for extra fiber. There are lots of ways to make meals and snacks satisfying without being too unhealthy.

Eating protein will help you feel full and keep your energy level high.