High Protein Diets and Weight Loss
While a high protein diet might have immediate appeal to meat lovers, it is not as simple as stacking on the pork chops, burgers, and ribs. Certainly the carnivore in us will be aroused by the thought of beef, beef, and more beef, but such thoughts can be a bit inflated. Therefore, let's leash the hunter who still resides somewhere in our reptilian brain and explore a reasonable diet that can be used by those who wish to lose a few pounds while building a bit more muscle.
Why a High Protein Diet Works
Many people are now using high protein diets to stimulate weight loss because some researchers suggest that these help to better control appetite and calorie intake. Diets with 30% protein are recognized as reasonable while a diet with over 50% protein is considered high protein.
When combined with a program of regular exercise, diets that are high in protein and moderate in carbohydrates are believed by many experts to reduce blood fat. Lean tissues are also maintained while fat is being burned for fuel.
It is thought that protein causes the brain to receive lower levels of hormones that stimulate appetite. Some studies also suggest that protein is able to satisfy hunger better than fats or carbohydrates.
Clinical Data in Support of High Protein Diets
In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects were placed on a diet where fat was reduced to 20% of the calories, protein was increased to 30% of the calories, and carbs made up 50% of the diet. People reported feeling less hungry and more satisfied. They also lost weight.
It was also reported in the Journal of Nutrition that when a high protein diet was combined with exercise, weight loss was enhanced and blood fat levels were improved.
Higher protein diets and exercise have an excellent potential for reducing blood lipids while maintaining lean tissues and not being distracted by constant hunger.
High Protein Foods
Not all protein is the same. Choose protein sources that are rich in nutrients but low in fat and calories such as lean meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
Include smart carbs in your diet as well. Ample amounts of fruits and vegetables are welcome as well as healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olives, oils, fish, and avocado.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The Institute of Health's Dietary Reference Intake recommends a protein intake from between 10% to 35% of total calories for healthy adults. That translates into between 45 and 218 grams of protein per day on an 1800 calorie diet. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 56 grams of protein per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. To get the potential weight loss benefit, an intake of 120 grams of protein per day is recommended.
Obviously, the amount of protein consumed daily will increase quite a bit, but there is no danger unless you have kidney disease. As always, it is not only recommended but wise to consult with your doctor before beginning any kind of diet.
Now I'd like to hear from you: Do high protein diets work? Please share your comments below.
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