Protein – it’s a vital nutrient in our overall health, but can a high protein diet work for weight loss? It seems high protein diets are all the buzz when it comes to not only losing weight but maintaining that weight loss.
With the research to back it, it seems that protein foods do a better job of satisfying our hunger than carbohydrates or fats do, so we eat less. When we eat less we take in fewer calories we not only don’t gain weight we can lose weight and maintain our weight easier.
A recent study which was published in the American Journal of Nutrition showed that when fat intakes was reduced by 20% of the total calorie intake and protein was increased to 30% with carbs making up 50% of the diet weight loss occurred, and participants were less hungry. On average, calorie intake dropped by 441 calories a day on the high protein diet.
According to the University of Illinois researcher Donald Layman, PhD, higher protein diets help individuals control both their calorie intake and their appetite. A high protein diet with moderate carb intake and a lifestyle that includes regular exercise can rid those extra pounds, as well as reduce blood lipids, and maintain lean tissue.
How the high protein diet works in controlling appetite isn’t completely understood yet, however they believe that the brain actually receives reduced appetite stimulating hormone levels. Although still in the theory stage as to why there is no question that it works. More research is certainly needed to fully understand how it all works together. There appears to be some potential here for those fighting obesity.
The amount of protein you need depends on what life stage you are at. Protein is necessary to repair muscles, cells, and even bone. That means during growth periods, when you are fighting infection, or at other stages in your life you will need more protein than in other stages of your life. Currently the Institute of Health’s Dietary Reference Intake recommends that 10% to 35% of all calorie intake should be from protein for normal healthy adults.
It’s important to note that as with everything going to the extreme can have potential deadly consequences. In this case, with too high of levels of protein intake you can find yourself facing kidney disease. So you see, more is not always better.
It seems to get the weight loss benefits of the high protein diet you need to take in around 120 grams of protein each day. If you are currently not eating a lot of protein you should increase it slowly to ensure your body has less trouble adapting to a higher protein intake.
To lose weight all you have to do is exercise and eat less right? Sounds pretty simple, so why doesn’t it always work that way? That’s because finding the right combination of nutrients so that you actually benefit from a calorie reduction isn’t as simple as just eating less. This is where protein comes in.
See, some people add in supplements like green tea and other weight loss products, but forget to get their basic nutrition right. When you get your basic food groups of carbs, proteins and fats right, you’ll get better results. When you get enough protein, and also the right carbs and fats as well, you’ll see fast weight loss results.