Protein And Weight Loss: How Does It Help?
Protein is very essential part of not only a healthy balanced diet, but also in weight control and weight reduction. Eating protein helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight in a few ways, one helps keep more full for longer, two for how much you can eat it is quite low in calories, and three helps you build and keep the lean muscle mass on your body.
But this is not only true in my experience, as studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Journal of Nutrition have revealed that diets high in protein are more efficient for both slimming down and keeping the weight off than those low in this nutrient.
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How Much Protein Should You Eat For The Best Weight Loss Results?
The amount of protein that an individual needs for their weight loss and weight management can be affected by few factors.
Generally, experts suggest at a minimum people should eat 0.8 grams of protein per kg, or 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.
It is also suggested that people looking to lose weight may benefit from a higher intake, such as one gram of protein per pound of body weight or 25-30%of daily calories from protein.
However something to note is that an excessive amounts of protein can have damaging health effects, so it’s crucial to monitor not only how much you eat, but also the quailty of the protein.
Ideally select high-quality sources like lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds. With this in mind, eating nutritious protein-rich foods at each meal or snack could help people reach their goals relating to managing their weight.
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The Best Sources Of Protein For Weight Loss
Here I’m going to give you some great examples of sources of protein that is also great for weight loss and weight management
Lean meats like chicken breast, turkey, and lean cuts of beef or pork contain a high-quality source of protein while being low in saturated fat.
Fatty Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel is also another great example of a high protein food that is great for weight loss, plus it can also reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
Eggs provide an affordable and nutritious source of protein packed with vitamins and minerals.
Legumes including lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are good sources of plant-based protein and fiber.
Greek yogurt is a creamy option that is lower in sugar than regular yogurt and higher in protein. Other healthy sources include nuts, seeds, tofu, and low-fat dairy
Incorporating all or some into meals or snacks can help meet protein needs while achieving weight management goals, and if you need some ideas on what low calories foods you can combine them with I wrote an article listing out many different low calories foods.
Combining Protein With Other Nutrients For Optimal Results
Including a good amount of protein in your diet is essential for weight loss and weight management, however combining it with other food sources is also be beneficial.
Consuming high-fiber foods, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and water-rich foods alongside protein can help promote feelings of fullness, reduce overall calorie intake, but also provide important nutrients for overall health.
Examples of such meals include Greek yogurt with berries and high-fiber granola, a salad with grilled chicken, avocado, and olive oil dressing, a turkey and vegetable sandwich on whole-grain bread or a vegetable and lentil soup.
Risks And Side Effects Of High Protein Intake
While protein is an important for overall health and weight management, eating too much protein can also have risks and side effects. Here are some potential risks and side effects of high protein intake:
- Kidney damage: Eating high levels of protein can put a strain on the kidneys, as they are responsible for filtering waste products from the body. Over time, excessive protein intake can cause kidney damage and increase the risk of kidney disease.
- Dehydration: High protein intake can cause dehydration, as the body needs water to metabolize protein. This can be especially problematic for athletes or individuals who engage in strenuous physical activity, as they may require more water to maintain hydration.
- Digestive issues: Eating too much protein can cause digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Increased risk of heart disease: While protein can be a healthy component of a balanced diet, excessive consumption of animal-based protein sources such as red meat and processed meat can increase the risk of heart disease. This is because these sources of protein are often high in saturated fat, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels and inflammation.
It’s important to understand that not all protein sources are equal. Eating lean meat, fish and legumes in moderation can provide essential nutrients and help with weight loss but too much animal-based protein or processed supplements can have an adverse effect on health.
It is advisable to eat a well-balanced diet that includes various nutrient-rich foods such as quality protein sources, keeping an eye on the amount of calories taken in daily and adhering to the recommended daily protein intake.
A diet rich in protein is essential for weight loss and management. Its effects on satiety, metabolism, and muscle mass, as well as its positive impact on overall health make it a valuable dietary consideration.
Lean meats, fish, legumes, and dairy products are all excellent sources of protein that can help an individual reach their daily protein needs while working towards their goal weight. However, it’s important to remember that good nutrition involves balancing protein consumption with fiber, fats, and carbs within the recommended limits.