Fitting in your morning workout will give you some major fat-burning and toning perks. But did you know that you can burn calories for long after you leave the gym? The amount of energy you burn at rest is determined by your metabolism. When you’re active and doing high-intensity interval training (like with THIS workout), your bod is working extra hard and boosting your metabolism. Once you’ve finished your sweat sesh, there’s one simple and easy thing that you can do to keep burning energy all day long. Hint, hint: The answer’s probably already in your fridge or pantry right now!

Protein is made up of amino acids that have so many important jobs, ranging from forming hormones to keeping your bod lean and strong. And bonus: You can get it from a wide range of sources. We love chickpeas, salmon, chicken, black beans, ground turkey, and our Tone It Up Protein, which is plant-based, non-GMO, and made especially for our community! Here are two additional perks of fueling up with protein.

1. Boosts Metabolism: Protein has a thermic effect on your body, meaning it requires extra energy to break down, and you’re actually burning calories just by eating it! It also helps form lean muscles after a tough sweat sesh. Extra lean muscle on your body requires more energy to maintain, which causes you to burn even MORE calories. Double win! Try out our recipe for protein pancakes HERE for a delicious and healthy way to start your day.

2. Reduces Appetite: Certain hormones tell your brain that you’re either hungry or full. When your stomach is saying it’s time to eat, that’s the hormone ghrelin at work. Adding protein to your meals can lower the hunger hormone. Plus, protein increases the hormone PYY, which helps reduce feelings of hunger even more and keep snack attacks at bay! THIS protein packed smoothie will get you through that mid-afternoon slump.

Want more motivation, heathy meals, and secrets to help you reach your fitness goals?! Join the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan! It’s packed with thousands of recipes using nothing but the best ingredients that taste ahhh-maze.

What’s your favorite protein snack? Share it with us @BritandCo and @ToneItUp!

(Photos via Tone It Up)