You can win the weight loss game when you play by the rules. Nothing new to learn! You already know them – exercise to build muscle and burn calories, stay active throughout the day (move more) and take in the appropriate number of calories for your activity level and body type. Get extra points by adding protein, which boosts weight loss. Here’s how:

Protein helps you feel full

Mindless grazing can put a wrench in any weight loss plan. Consume protein with every meal to help you feel fuller, longer. Because protein promotes satiety you will be less likely to take in empty snack calories. Try it: instead of that doughnut or bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, have a whole wheat tortilla wrap with eggs and a few slices of avocado. At mid-morning you will be less likely to feel ravenous so rather than head to the vending machine, you will be satisfied with a healthy handful of nuts or one ounce of cheese.

Protein slows digestion

Consume protein with carbs to slow their digestion and maintain stable blood sugar levels. Say farewell to sugar spikes and crashes and hello to more energy. Use the boost to move more all day. Studies have shown that exercise is important but it is not enough to combat the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Burn calories and improve overall health outcomes by remaining active all day. Get up from your chair and take a walk, take the stairs, hold walking meetings, stand when you take calls – you get the idea.

Protein rich foods including eggs, spinach leaves and pumpkin seeds with a glass of pouring milk in the middle

Protein requires more calories to burn than carbs and fat

You will burn a few extra calories when you consume protein. That’s because the work of digesting it is a bit harder to do than it is for carbs or fat.

Protein helps build lean muscle

You may have already heard that muscle burns more calories than fat. Protein helps you build more lean muscle. Be sure to get in some protein and carbs after your workout to promote muscle growth and repair as well as rebuild energy stores

Again, include some protein with every meal to enjoy the weight loss boost all day long. Good sources include lean meat, dairy (full fat is ok in moderation), beans, nuts, eggs and seafood. Easy lunch ideas include a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with hummus and cucumbers. For dinner black bean and corn salad with cilantro lime sour cream is easy to make and budget friendly too. Enjoy!