Nutrition Metabolism posted a study showing people on a diet that increased their protein by 30 percent ate about 450 fewer calories a day. They also lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week period without any other dietary changes.
Looking to lose weight? Maybe you should consider a higher protein diet.
We can agree that protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but why? Read about protein’s important role to maintain optimum health and how a high protein diet can help you safely lose weight.
There are three essential macronutrients needed in your diet – protein, carbs, and fat.
Protein does the following for your body:
- Repairs muscle, hair, skin, and bones
- Serves as a messenger for cells and organs to communicate
- Drives chemical reactions throughout your body
- Delivers molecules to the body like oxygen to cells
Some foods provide better proteins because they have more essential amino acids. Animal proteins provide all the essential amino acids. These products include fish, poultry, eggs, meat, and dairy.
These amino acids are essential because your body does not produce them.
High Protein Diet and Weight Loss
There’s a reason that people have had luck with a high protein diet to lose weight. Here’s why a high protein diet is important to your diet for weight loss and your overall health.
1- Suppresses Hunger
Eating more protein controls your appetite and makes you feel more full.
Protein increases hormones like PYY and GLP-1 that help you feel full. It also reduces levels of ghrelin that makes you feel hungry.
If you are not hungry and feel full, eating higher amounts of protein can actually reduce the amount of food you eat naturally.
2- Burns More Calories
More protein may increase the calories you burn. Protein can boost your metabolic rate by an astounding 20-35 percent when comparing to carbs or fat.
You can actually keep burning more calories hours after eating. You can also burn calories while you sleep.
3- Cuts Down Cravings
Many people fail at diets because of cravings. Also, late night snacking can destroy diets and cause you to gain weight.
Protein can help control both of these. Eating more protein will slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream to deter cravings.
You will not feel such highs and lows from carbohydrates.
4 – Preserves of Lean Muscle Mass
When you want to lose weight, you want to lose fat mass while keeping your lean muscle mass. This is best to do over a period of time.
Protein helps protect your lean body muscles. After intense exercise, increasing protein in your diet can help you repair and grow lean muscle.
5 – Reduces Fat in the Midsection
Having a bulging midsection is not only a vanity issue; it can also cause serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. A high protein diet can reduce the risk of these diseases.
It also addresses abdominal weight loss. A study found that high amounts of protein significantly reduced belly fat gains for 5 years.
6 – Improves Nerve Signal Transmission
If you don’t get enough protein, you could face a nervous system disorder. This is because protein assists with electrical transmission throughout your body.
Protein forms and maintains the myelin sheath, a type of tissue. Low amounts of protein can cause deficiencies in the barrier, resulting in electrical signals being lost.
7 – Promotes Hair and Skin Health
Proteins are structural, and hair is a protein-based tissue. You need protein to have healthy hair because hair is filled with protein collagen.
You also need protein for your skin. Skin has two essential proteins – collagen and elastin. Both of these keep skin in its natural condition and helps avoid sagging.
Collagen protects the skin barrier to keep in the moisture.
8 – Manages Blood Glucose
Protein supports manageable blood glucose levels. It helps produce peptide hormone insulin, which helps manage diabetes.
Combining protein-rich foods and fats and carbohydrates slow the glucose breakdown into glucose and its absorption into the blood. This minimizes insulin spikes.
Type two diabetes can be reversed with the proper regime.
Following a High-Protein Diet
A high-protein diet is relatively easy to do, and you can easily find choices even at restaurants. You can customize based on your food choices and health goals.
For example, if you have blood sugar issues, you may want to follow a low-carb, high-protein diet to control your blood sugar.
If you can’t eat milk products, there are plenty of dairy-free foods out there filled with protein.
Vegetarians can eat high proteins with eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and additional plant proteins.
Create a food diary with either an app or website to help set your goals. These sites will also give you an idea of good proteins and how much is in each food.
On average, a female should eat 46 grams of protein a day, and a man should eat 56 grams daily. This amount should be increased with different exercise programs.
Eat a diet filled with both plant and animal proteins. Choose higher quality items like eggs, fresh meats, dairy, and nuts. These are healthier options than highly processed food like lunch meat and bacon.
Protein Rich Foods
What are some high protein foods? Here are some you should consider for your diet:
- Cottage Cheese
- Chia Seeds
Are There Any Side Effects?
High-protein diets are generally safe and healthy for the majority of people. This diet does not cause kidney problems as once thought.
However, if you are susceptible to kidney stones, you can experience issues with high amounts of animal protein. Talk to your doctor before changing your diet.
The Bottom Line on Protein
Protein is a vital nutrient to your body. Eating higher amounts of protein has been linked to several health benefits such as weight loss, reducing aging, and lowering appetite.
To get the best results from this diet, eat protein throughout the day. Choose higher quality sources. Also, you should still eat healthy fats and carbs.
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