The high protein diet is probably one of the most popular methods to lose weight. There are so many testimonials from people who say they have lost a lot of weight this way. It sounds amazing, especially since if you eat proteins you will definitely not be starving. That means you could stick to your diet for a longer period without discomfort. But is it really an ideal diet or is it just polished to look better than it really is? Do popular high protein diet choices genuinely help you lose weight, and are they healthy? We’ll explore further, but first, let’s start with the basics.
What Are Proteins?
Proteins are molecules that are essential for the functioning of the human body. They contain amino acids and have crucial roles in the structure and activity of our organs and tissues. So, we must make sure we get enough protein in our regular diet. Fortunately, the sources of protein are various, so even a picky eater can find what they like. Vegan and vegetarian diets also have protein options available, so dietary restrictions are no limit on adopting a high protein diet. The fact that we both need proteins, and can use them to lose weight is a wonderful bonus.
What Are High Protein Foods for Weight Loss?
If you are considering a high protein diet plan you are probably preparing yourself for eating a lot of meat. But in fact, there are many other foods that you can use. That’s great news, especially if you aren’t exactly crazy about meat or are vegan or vegetarian. Here are some wonderful choices for your high protein diet menu:
- Eggs are a great source of protein but also rich in many other nutrients and make you feel full, so they will decrease your overall food intake.
- Cottage Cheese may not exactly be a crowd-pleaser, but when you need to add protein to your diet, it’s a great option. You need dairy for a balanced low carb and high protein diet, and even if you weren’t a fan before you will grow to like its taste.
- Almonds are a good source of protein, even if you didn’t expect it! They are an ideal snack, especially if you need a vegetarian high protein diet. They also contain good fats for overall health. However, make sure you only have a small amount, because they have a rather high number of calories.
- Greek Yogurt is your best friend in many diets, including a high protein diet. Not only is it packed with proteins but is also low in calories and carbs. It also tastes great and is very healthy.
- Broccoli may not be your ideal ingredient – most people think of it as an acquired taste, to say it nicely. But it is one of the healthiest choices and proteins are just one of the many benefits it will bring to your body. Broccoli is packed with vitamins and minerals. So, it’s worth the effort to get used to it. Many people come to enjoy it – raw, steamed, stir-fried – there are lots of choices of preparations to make it suit your tastes.
- Shrimp is crazy high in protein as well as many other great nutrients. Seafood, in general, is a great addition to your high protein diet or to a healthy lifestyle.
- Quinoa is one of the most popular ingredients in many healthy diets, and actually has a fair amount of protein. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, you may want to give it a chance. It’s great to replace rice or pasta, and works well in salads, too!
- Fish is another great choice for a high protein diet meal plan. It has a lot of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, necessary for heart and brain health.
What Are the Benefits of a High Protein Diet?
Proteins are among the most important elements in your body, and it’s essential that you provide your system with the necessary amount. You need proteins for your muscles to keep them strong, for your tissues to regenerate and function properly, and for a functioning metabolism. Proteins play a role in cell health and regeneration, mental functioning, signalling and hormones, and many other aspects of the body. You can use a high protein diet plan for muscle gain and pair it with the right workouts – it’s healthy and will help you lose weight and get fit!
Burning more calories is one of the most important benefits of a high protein diet, and at the core of most diet plans. When your body digests proteins, it consumes a lot of energy so it burns calories. That doesn’t happen at anywhere near the same degree when you eat carbohydrates and less complex molecules, that have a much more direct path to sugar and fat storage. So, if you choose a 1200 calorie high protein diet and also do regular exercise, you will have great weight loss results.
Proteins have another amazing effect on your body: they give you the sensation of being full. You don’t have to eat a huge amount to feel satisfied. A high protein diet for weight loss will work because you won’t feel hungry all the time, even if you are ingesting fewer calories. You will feel full after every meal and won’t need snacks at inappropriate times. Your appetite will no longer be your enemy. And when you do have a snack, choosing almonds or yogurt instead of something sweet is ideal. You will no longer feel hungry, and your calories intake won’t suffer.
What Happens If I Eat Protein and Don’t Exercise?
Protein is known to be the ally of bodybuilders, athletes, and people who exercise a lot. That is because it helps you build muscles and repair tissues. So, if you are on a high protein diet plan for weight loss, but not a big fan of exercise, will you have problems? It all depends on the kind of proteins you use or ingest, and how much. Bodybuilders often use protein shakes or powders with their workouts. While it may work for them, for someone who just wants to lose weight and does little to no exercise, they are a very bad idea. But if you just have a high protein diet and get your proteins from foods only, without any kind of protein supplements, that won’t affect your health or work against your weight loss goals.
What Happens to Your Body If You Eat Too Much Protein?
So far proteins sound great, but is having too much of it going to affect your body? It can, just like anything else – too much water will have a negative impact on your body. Excess levels of protein can be harmful, and there are some high protein diet risks. Here are the side effects you can experience if you ingest too much protein, especially to the exclusion of other critical nutrients:
- Constipation is a serious matter and probably one of the major concerns for many people when they are considering trying a high protein diet. Too much protein can affect your bowel movements, and that’s not something you want to ignore.
- Dehydration can be another consequence of having too much protein in your diet, especially if you also exercise a lot. But that can easily be prevented by simply drinking more water.
- Heart problems are a potential risk, especially for women. A high-fat high protein diet will increase your cholesterol level, which can lead to heart disease. So, you need to make sure you choose low-fat protein for your meals and monitor your health. That’s why most high protein diets suggest lean proteins like seafood, chicken, turkey, and similar, rather than tons of beef or pork products.
- Low calcium levels can be a problem if you consume too much protein. That is actually a controversial topic. Studies were conducted, but the results are not very clear. However, since calcium is essential for your bones, it is a good idea to check your levels if you are on a high protein diet for weight loss. You can always take a calcium supplement, or ensure you get more vegetables that are rich in calcium in your diet.
Can I Have a High Protein Diet If I Am Vegan?
Of course, there is no problem finding a good high protein vegan diet plan. As we have shown above, there are many sources of protein that don’t come from animals. Here are just a few examples of vegan protein sources: quinoa, almonds, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and green peas. Even if you are not a vegan, you will be happy to know that while you are enjoying a serving of hummus you are actually consuming protein.
Can I lose weight by just drinking protein shakes?
Protein shakes are sort of a shortcut, and they aren’t a great option even if you are doing a lot of exercises. They are principally to help provide fast-acting protein to help bodybuilders and athletes build muscle and recover from strenuous workouts. They are definitely not a good idea for your weight loss process. You need healthy sources of protein introduced to your diet, with an eye towards overall diet, caloric intake, and other factors.
How many proteins should I eat daily?
To calculate the right amount of protein someone needs, you have to consider their weight, age, whether they are a man or a woman, and the level of exercise they undertake. The average is around 0.36 grams per pound of person per day.
Does protein make you poop more?
Not usually. A high protein diet is more often linked to constipation, but there have been cases where people were suffering from diarrhea after eating too much protein. This is often due to limited other food in the digestive system, and proteins that are rich in fats – not the best proteins for weight loss in the first place. Protein shakes, on the other hand, can make you poop more, but that is a sign you are not using them correctly.
What foods will make you poop right away?
Fiber is your best friend if you are having problems pooping. If you are eating a lot of high protein diet foods you may experience constipation, so remember to have enough fiber mixed in as well. Most vegetables and whole grains are high in fiber, and fiber supplements are also available.
Overall, Can You Lose Weight on a High Protein Diet?
Yes! This is one of the diets out there with a positive verdict. It forms the basis of many popular, specific diet plans, too, because a high protein diet for fat loss actually works. It isn’t a very restrictive diet, and it won’t make you feel hungry, which means you can stick to it for a longer period. However, it is very important that you keep your meals as balanced as possible. And before you begin this diet, make sure it’s right for you. People with high cholesterol or heart issues need to check with their doctor before considering it.
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