A high protein diet recommends eating more proteins and fewer carbohydrates and fats. This diet helps to promote weight loss and build a stronger body. Protein is an essential nutrient for human health. It is responsible for the repair and maintenance of muscles, bones, skins, and hair. Also, it takes a role in producing hormones, enzymes and aiding in the transportation of molecules.
Can a high protein diet promote weight loss?
High protein diet becomes popular in recent years, especially getting support from those bodybuilders and people who wish to lose weight. Lots of evidence indicate a higher protein intake can suppress hunger and appetite for hours after eating. Protein promotes hormones production like peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) which make you feel full and satisfied. Not only that, protein helps to decrease the level of the “hunger hormone” which is called ghrelin. Therefore, higher protein intake typically leads to a natural reduction in food intake.
A high protein diet also enhances the effects of exercise in helping people to lose fat without losing muscle. The fat loss advantage of this diet is due to the high level of amino acid leucine. Leucine works well with insulin and stimulates protein synthesis in the muscles. On the contrary, the low carbohydrate intake promotes low insulin production and allows burning more fats.
How much protein is needed for a high protein diet?
A true high protein diet calls for a high protein intake (more than 20% of the total calories) and fewer carbohydrates and fats intake. Everyone’s protein needs are different. Generally, a high protein diet should provide protein in 1.2g to 1.6g per kg of body weight. For instance, a person with 70kg should be provided with 84g to 112 g of proteins daily from this diet.
According to the studies from researchers, every meal with 25g to 30g of proteins will provide improvements in weight loss, muscle maintenance, and better overall health.
What do you need to know about a high protein diet?
- Select healthy sources of protein such as lean cuts of meat, salmon, eggs, and dairy products
- Avoid choosing processed meats such as bacon and sausage which are pumped full of additives and preservatives
- Not suitable for people with kidney diseases as high protein intake may worsen their kidney function
- Moderation is always the key. For example, if you are lacking exercise and taking protein intake higher than your body needs, the excess amounts of proteins will be stored as fats in the body, leading to weight gain
- Exercise to maximize muscle growth. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity along with regular strength training at least twice per week are recommended
A high in protein diet could be an interesting way for a weight loss program. However, this diet plan should fit your lifestyle and food preferences. This is to ensure that you are more likely to practice it for the long term. It is recommended to discuss with your dieticians or nutritionist before joining any popular diet. Also, having good gut health with a balanced and diversified gut flora can maximize the effects of this diet. Click here to find out how to build a stronger gut.
- Leidy, H.J., Clifton, P.M., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T.P., Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., Luscombe-Marsh, N.D., Woods, S.C. and Mattes, R.D., 2015. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(6), pp.1320S-1329S.
- Pesta, D.H. and Samuel, V.T., 2014. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutrition & Metabolism, 11(1), pp.1-8.