Does a high protein diet really aid with weight loss? One fact about high protein foods is that they make you fuller quicker and for longer, hence preventing you from overeating. According to nutritionists and scientists alike, protein is the single most important nutrient that can help you lose weight and have a lean body.
How Protein Helps with Weight Loss
The brain is the most powerful part of our bodies. It processes so much information in such a short span of time in response to our surroundings. It controls everything we do, including how and what we eat.
When you eat, certain hormones in your body change. Now, a high-protein diet increases the level of GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, which are appetite-reducing hormones and at the same time reduce the level of hunger hormones. This chain of reaction makes you feel full more quickly than if you consumed a high carb diet. Additionally, protein has a high thermic effect of food (TEF). This is the number of calories that are used for metabolizing and digesting food. Experts say that up to 30 percent of protein calories are burned while your body is digesting and metabolizing the protein.
Last but not least, protein reduces cravings for foods and unnecessary snacking throughout the day. As we all know, cravings are a dieter’s worst nightmare since they can easily make you fall behind with your weight loss goals. Protein takes away that desire to snack, thus keeping you within your target.
High Protein Diets for Weight Loss
The world’s most known high protein diets are Atkins, Paleo, and Keto diets. However, not all diets work for everybody and following the program can be quite a challenge for many people. What all these diets have in common is that they recommend over 20 percent of the total calories you consume to come from protein. Here are the foods you should incorporate in your diet to cut the excess fat:
One cup of peas is equivalent to 8 grams of proteins and 118 calories. Apart from that, you also get vitamin C and a boost to your immune system. Peas make a great addition to any of your favorite meals, including omelet.
With one cup of cooked spinach packing 5 grams of proteins and 41 calories, this is a healthy option for weight loss. Spinach is also a good source of vitamins A and C and antioxidants. Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked but experts recommend that you steam spinach to make it easier for your body to absorb its calcium content. It’s easy to add spinach to any of your favorite meals or you can simply steam the spinach and top it with olive oil, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.
Lean meat is a healthy option when you want to have a lean body. And your best bet is to go for grass-fed beef. About 200 grams of grass-fed lean steak can give you a total of 234 calories and five grams of fat compared to 386 calories and 16 grams of fat for conventional lean meat. Grass-fed meat is a high protein food, not to mention great taste. Add this to your weight loss diet and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a fit body.
Most seafood is a dieter’s and nutritionists best friend. Here, you have a wide variety to choose from and you stand to gain additional health benefits such as important minerals and vitamins. Examples of seafood that have high protein content include:
- Canned tuna
- Wild salmon
- Pacific cod
Eggs are the most affordable, easiest and healthiest protein foods you can lay your hands on. Loaded with amino acids, iron, and antioxidants, eggs are the ultimate health booster and muscle builder. Just be sure to buy organic eggs to get the full nutrients of eggs. Other high protein foods that should make your daily meals include:
- Beans (black beans and lima beans)
- Peanut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Grass-fed milk
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chicken breast
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cottage cheese
- All kinds of nuts
How Much Protein Should I Consume?
The rule of thumb when it comes to protein intake is; consume between 1-1.5 grams per pound of your current weight. Exercisers are advised to consume between 1.2 to 1.7 grams per body weight. Apart from weight loss, a high protein diet helps to maintain a good healthy body. Among other things, protein helps to protect your body against diseases, repairs your muscles, act as catalysts for chemical reactions in your body and help in the transportation of oxygen into the cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells.
Protein not only increases the number of calories you burn daily but also keeps burning the calories long after you eat. The best option when trying to lose weight is to stick to a diet that works for you. Some diets don’t allow fruits or grains, and this could be difficult for some people. Before you start your weight loss journey, it’s advisable to consider your options and take on a plan that will suit your needs.
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