If you want to keep your holiday eating under control this year, we have just the trick. It involves one of the most popular supplements for gaining muscle mass: whey. Although you may drink it to pack on quality pounds, this super protein can also help you to eat less and keep insulin levels low after carb-laced meals.

THE STUDY Researchers from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (Australia) gave lean,healthy men one of four liquid-protein meals a whey protein shake, turkey breast, tuna fish or egg white protein. The subjects were then given abuffet-style meal and allowed toeat as much as they wanted .

THE RESULTS As reported in a 2010 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition,the whey protein shake decreased hunger themost, resulting in themen eating significantly less food at the buffet.This supports an earlier study that showed that when men drank a whey shake 45 minutes before a buffet-style meal, they reported feeling less hungry and they ate far less than those who had gotten a case in protein shake. In another study from the University of Toronto, not only did a whey protein shake make subjects less hungry (they ate far less at a pizza buffet), but it also significantly blunted blood glucose and insulin levels following the carb feast. This means that whey protein not only helps you eat less, but also can help to turn less of the food you eat into body fat.

THE DOSAGE If you know you are going to be around a lot of decadent food that you may be unable to resist, then consider downing a 40-gram whey protein shake about 30 minutes to 4 hours before the meal. Not only will this help you to keep up your protein intake, but it can also help you to eat less food and store less of that meal as body fat.