In my last post, I talked about 5 strategies for avoiding weight gain over Thanksgiving. I should have included Christmas in the title because those same strategies apply for it as well.
One of those strategies was to eat protein at each meal and snack. Eating protein will fill you up therefore reducing your cravings for sugar. Eating protein can boost your metabolism by helping your body build muscle mass. Eating protein will help you burn more calories than eating carbohydrates. So it is safe to say by starting off your day by eating eggs for breakfast will help you avoid snacking on the plethora of Christmas cookies lying around the house.
This is probably no surprise to you. Most of us all know someone who lost weight on a high protein diet.
Here is a surprise though: the TYPE of protein you eat matters in helping you eat less (and avoid overindulging on tons of Christmas goodies).
A recent study showed that eating meals rich in protein sources such as beans, peas, and lentils are more satiating than pork or veal-based meals. Participants in this study ate 12% fewer calories in their next meal when they ate a protein-rich meal based on beans and peas than a meat-based meal. The main reason is that the meal with beans and peas contains significantly more fiber than the meat based meal which increases the feeling of satiety.
Eating protein-rich meals consisting of beans, peas, and lentils can help you avoid overindulging on all of the dense calorie meals, drinks and goodies this Christmas.
How can you add more plant-based protein rich meals to your diet this holiday season? Try one of the following suggestions:
1. Prepare my French Lentil Salad for dinner and eat as leftovers for lunch the next day (it is actually even better as leftovers!).
2. Eat this warm lentil soup for lunch so you can eat less at the Christmas party you attend that evening.
*Note: my husband loves this soup so it is tested and approved by a meat lover.
3. Last minute Christmas shopping? Stop into Chipotle for a bean burrito or bowl for a quick and convenient plant-based protein rich meal.
4. Empower yourself to make wise decisions (enjoying just 1 of the many Christmas desserts instead of trying all of them!) at your friend’s Christmas party by starting your day off with a plant-based protein smoothie. Try the Antioxidant Powerhouse Smoothie or Pear Protein Smoothie.