High protein diet is ideal for losing weight quickly. But how much protein do we really need and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the high protein diet?
This article reveals everything you need to know about this diet. You will discover why most of the most popular diets on the market are based on this diet.
What is a high protein diet?
It is a diet that consists primarily of protein-rich foods and is limited in fat and carbohydrates.
Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. They play a vital role in the development and maintenance of muscles, tendons, organs and skin.
But proteins are also essential to the enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various small molecules in our body, all essential to its proper functioning.
In the human body, proteins are broken down into amino acids. Some of these amino acids can be produced by the body itself. These are amino acids that we call “non-essential”. As for the essential amino acids, we must absorb them through our diet.
In general, animal proteins provide all the essential amino acids in adequate proportions. Products of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy products play an important role in the protein diet.
If you follow a vegetarian diet and therefore do not eat animal foods, it is a little harder to get all the protein and essential amino acids your body needs. Fortunately, there are a number of plant foods with high protein content.
Why follow this slimming diet?
There are many types of diets. What differentiates this diet from others? The question needs to be asked.
The fact is that most of the most effective diets on the market are based on high protein intake.
The most important advantage of this diet is its effectiveness against overweight.
First, eating more protein causes a temporary increase in metabolism (In a high-protein diet in which proteins account for 25-30% of the total calories absorbed, metabolism has increased to up to 100 calories per day), so you burn more calories. Secondly, a high protein intake calms your appetite, which prevents you from eating too much and ingesting too many calories.
The main reason that a protein diet contributes to weight loss is that high protein intake leads to a spontaneous reduction in caloric intake. And Proteins have more effect on hunger and satiety than carbohydrates and fats.
In a study of obese men, scientists discovered that a 25% protein diet has extremely beneficial effects. Participants were satiated faster, felt less need to nibble in the evening and had fewer obsessive thoughts about food.
Another study examined the effect of increased protein intake on women. These were subjected to a diet consisting of 30% protein. This diet represented a decrease in their energy intake of 441 calories per day on average. The simple fact of consuming more protein has led these women to lose an average of 5.5 kg in 12 weeks.
Higher protein intake does not only facilitate weight loss; it also prevents re-gaining weight. A modest increase of 15% to 18% protein per day can help people who have successfully lost weight maintain their target weight.
In brief, consuming a little more protein can help you follow your diet and lose weight permanently.
Where are the proteins?
Proteins are drawn through the diet. Proteins can come from foods of plant origin and animal foods.
There are a number of foods with high protein content.
Animal foods and dairy products contain the most protein.
They contain all the essential amino acids needed to build new proteins in the body. In contrast, protein sources of plant origin often lack essential amino acids that the body needs.
Animal protein is found mainly in meat, eggs, poultry, seafood and dairy products. Opt for unprocessed meat such as steak, roast beef, tartar or minced meat. Even better, eat poultry (for example, chicken or turkey). As for dairy products, think of milk, cheese, paneer and yoghurt.
Protein concentration in plant sources is generally lower than in animal sources. That said, some plant foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and legumes contain enough protein.
It should be noted that animal protein sources have a large number of important nutrients often absent from plant sources.
For example :
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is found mainly in fish, meat, poultry and dairy products. People who avoid foods of animal origin often have vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy products. Some plant foods contain vitamin D, but the type of vitamin D found in foods of animal origin is better absorbed by the body.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): This fatty acid belongs to the omega 3 family. It is of vital importance to the eyes and the brain. It is found mostly in oily fish. On the other hand, it is difficult to obtain from plant sources.
- Heme iron: it is present mainly in meat, especially red meat. Heme iron is much better absorbed by the body than non-heme iron in foods of plant origin.
- Zinc: Zinc is mainly found in protein sources of animal origin such as beef, pork and lamb. Zinc from animal protein sources is also more readily absorbed than zinc from plant sources.
What are your daily protein needs?
How much protein should you consume daily to lose weight? The “right” amount of protein for an individual depends on a variety of factors. For example, his level of physical activity, age, sex, muscle mass and current state of health.
Let me first clarify one point. When I say “grams of protein,” I mean of course the number of grams of macronutrient protein, not the weight of protein-rich foods like chicken or salmon.
For example, a chicken drumstick weighs 125 g, but it contains “only” 26 g of protein. Think about it if you follow a protein diet.
Now let’s move on to the amount of protein that needs to be eaten daily:
If your goal is to burn fat without losing muscle mass, aim for a consumption of 0.8 to 1.3 g of protein per kg of body weight.
Whatever your size or weight, protein must be 30% of total calories in a protein diet. It is best to spread your protein intake over several meals.
Benefits of protein diet
- Increased metabolism
- Reduced cravings for food and hunger
- You spontaneously ingest fewer calories
- Positive influence on hormones that regulate metabolism and fat burning
- Minimal loss of muscle mass
- A firmer and more attractive silhouette (if you also play sports)
- Very stable blood sugar level
Disadvantages of protein diet
- Bad breath because of ketones
- Headache and irritability (due to lack of carbohydrates)
- A protein supplement can promote acne
- Higher protein intake may cause flatulence
Want to follow a high protein diet?
Use this list of foods
For a meal that is healthy and rich in protein, I advise you to use your protein in the following foods of animal origin:
- Roast beef
- Steak tartare
- Chopped steak
Are you a vegetarian? In this case, you can draw your protein from the following plant foods:
- Hemp protein powder
Read also: keys to a successful diet
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