How Does A High Protein Diet Help You to Lose Weight?November 7, 2019 10:40 am Comments Off on How Does A High Protein Diet Help You to Lose Weight?
What do the Tony Ferguson Shake Program, Keto Diet, Atkins Diet and Dukan Diet all have in common? Each of these diets encourage intake of protein rich foods to assist in weight loss. High protein diets have been known to be effective in weight loss and help with keeping the weight off in the long run. But it is important to understand what is it about protein that assists with weight loss and weight maintenance.
Know your protein
Protein like carbohydrates and fat is an essential macronutrient. It is one of three nutrients found in food that the body needs in large quantities to function smoothly. The body uses protein for building and maintaining tissues, muscles and bones. Proteins are made up of tiny compounds called amino acids. While there are hundreds of amino acids that exist in nature, the human body uses only 22 of them. The body produces 13 amino acids and derives 9 essential amino acids from the food we eat.
Protein in food
Different foods have different combinations of amino acids. Animal protein found in meat and eggs, along with dairy products are generally a good source of all the essential amino acids. Beans, legumes, lentils, grains, nuts and soy are rich protein foods for some amino acids. It is essential to consult a qualified dietitian to develop a well-balanced meal plan that incorporates a variety of protein rich foods to ensure the body’s nutrition requirements are met. The dietitian will help with planning and achieving your weight loss goals by suggesting a meal plan suited to your lifestyle and dietary requirements. Often, protein shakes, protein bars and smoothie bowls, are a great way to supplement the body’s protein requirements while being out and about or for a quick snack.
Benefits of a protein rich diet for weight loss
So, it’s clear that we need protein but does increasing this macronutrient mean better weight loss? Many people have had success using a higher protein diet but that’s the case for other weight loss methods too. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a protein rich diet for weight loss and weight management.
Fills you up
Easily one of the biggest advantages of foods rich in protein is that they fill you up. This is because they are often rich in fibre content as well. When consuming protein rich foods you tend to eat fewer overall calories while still feeling full.
While experiencing satiety, there is a reduced tendency to snack on unhealthy foods in between meals. Your dietitian may suggest some brownie bars and nutritious soups for when you may feel hungry for a small snack. The Tony Ferguson 12- Week Program offers a range of meal replacement protein shakes and snacks that are easy to prepare on-the-go and rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Helps burn calories during digestion
The human body burns calories while performing routine activities like breathing, sleeping and going about daily living. The calories burnt determine our basal metabolic rate. But the body also burns calories just from eating food and digesting it. This is known as the ‘thermic effect of food’. Don’t get me wrong. The body doesn’t use all the contained calories or even half of it, but research may suggest that out of all the macronutrients, protein is most likely to use most of the calories. The overall effect is modest though, so don’t eat extra for a greater burn.
Understanding the limitations of a protein rich diet
While a high protein diet does have its advantages, it is important to understand how consuming it in excess can have certain effects on the body that may not necessarily contribute to your weight loss goals.
It’s still calories
Protein may help to expend calories as a result of the ‘thermic effect of food’, but it is also a source of calories nearly as much as carbohydrate foods. Increasing protein intake without advice from a qualified health professional may lead to weight gain. Your dietitian will be able to help with planning your protein intake in proportions throughout the day.
High saturated fat content
Some high protein diets recommend including cream, butter and other high saturated fat food sources in your daily meals. These can increase the risk of heart diseases as they are loaded with additional calories. Make wise protein choices and opt for low fat protein sources such as beans, white-fleshed fish, plain greek yoghurt, peas and lentils.
A restrictive high protein diet that is not balanced with a variety of foods offering other macronutrients and nutrients in enough quantities, will do little to improve your overall health. Include a range of vegetables, fruits, high fibre grains and healthy fats to develop eating habits that can be sustained for long-term weight loss.
Unsuitable for weak kidneys
A protein rich diet may accelerate kidney damage in people who already have kidney diseases. However, it does not adversely affect the functioning of kidneys in healthy people.
Shape your diet with healthy protein foods as protein is also used to produce many hormones and enzymes. Speak to your dietitian about finding the right eating pattern and suggesting suitable protein choices to feel energised while achieving your weight loss goals. Protein rich meal replacements such as protein shakes, protein bars and protein balls are best used in conjunction with a comprehensive weight loss program.