Other Beneficial Effects Of Protein
In addition to its favorable effects on weight, protein may help improve health in several other ways:
- Increase muscle mass: Studies have shown a higher protein intake can increase muscle size and strength when combined with resistance training .
- Reduce muscle loss during aging: Many people lose muscle as they age. One study found that adding a daily protein shake helped protect muscle health in healthy older men and those with age-related muscle loss .
- Strengthen bones: Higher protein intake may promote bone health. In one study, older women with the highest intake of animal protein experienced a whopping 69% reduced risk of hip fracture .
- Improve wound healing: Studies have shown that high-protein diets can enhance the healing of wounds related to surgery or injury, including bedsores .
Research suggests a high protein intake can help build muscle, protect against bone and muscle loss during aging and improve wound healing.
How Exactly Does Eating More Protein Help You Lose Weight
The fact that a high-protein diet can help you lose weight might seem a little counterintuitive, especially since many high-protein foods are often more calorie-dense than many high-carb foods, like fruits and veggies.
But heres the thing: High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The cumulative effect has obvious benefits for anyone who is watching their weight.
In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.
And if, like most successful dieters, youre burning calories as well as counting them, protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which not only makes you stronger and more toned but also burns calories even when you’re not active. Ultimately, this keeps your metabolism humming along at high speed so you can burn off the occasional cookie, no problem.
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Protein For Weight Loss: What Is The Best Time To Consume Protein To Lose Weight
Chief dietician, Ms. Pavithra N Raj explained, “People often wonder when the best time to take their protein powder. This depends on your health and fitness goals. You may want to consume it at a particular time of day, depending on whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or preserve muscle.”
Here are the right timings described by her according to different fitness goals along with some best protein food sources.
Combine Protein With Healthy Carbs
Another common mistake for both weight loss and muscle gain is excessively cutting carbohydrates. Contrary to what some diet plans like keto suggest, carbohydrates like grains, fruits, and vegetables are an important source of energy and great for muscle recovery. It’s best to include them alongside protein to optimize a lean physique, Clark said.
“I hate the word ‘carb,’ it’s very tainted,” she said. “Carbohydrates digest into glucose which feeds your brain and fuels your muscles.”
Carbohydrates are even more important for athletes, who should get about three times as much carbohydrate as protein in their diet, according to Clark.
“If you’re a sports-active person, it behooves you to have that be the foundation of your meal,” she said.
Protein Helps To Blunt The Rise In Blood Glucose After A Meal
During a meal, you may feel excited, happy, and satisfied. But quickly after, do you feel sad? Or otherwise, meh? Often, this can be attributed to what we’re eating since it’s tied to our blood glucose levels. As Ayoob explains, when our blood glucose rises too quickly after a meal, it set us up for a crash, leaving us to feel depleted and moody. And sometimes, cause us to binge on foods we wouldn’t normally eat . That’s where protein can be game-changing since it blunts the rise of blood glucose after a meal, regulating our systems.
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So How Much Protein Do We Need
This study doesn’t give us carte blanche to go and eat as much protein as we want, nor does it mean that eating more protein will necessarily lead to weight loss.
For most of us, if we’re not engaged in some sort of regular resistance-training program or reducing our calorie intake, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day meets our daily protein needs. So for a 150-pound women, this is about 55 grams of protein per day, and for a 185-pound man, about 67 grams per day.
But the truth is, as Americans, we’re already overdoing it when it comes to consuming protein. As the December 2019 paper states, according to recent NHANES data, adults are eating 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. And as the authors point out, if you don’t fall into one of these anabolic or catabolic “stressed states,” eating more protein doesn’t prove to be beneficial.
If you are reducing calories or strength-training, eating closer to 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the optimal number to aim for, per the study.
According to this recommendation, if that same 150-pound woman has reduced her calories to lose weight, she might want to aim to eat closer to 88 grams of protein per day, and the 185-pound man should shoot for 109 grams.
But just like all calories are not created equal, all grams or types of protein are not created equal either. The quality of the protein you’re eating will affect your overall health beyond weight loss.
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The Best Sources Of Protein
There are so many sources of protein available the key is to look for what best fits your lifestyle , sources low in saturated fat and foods that you enjoy eating.
Here are some good options along with a few to eat sparingly:
Healthy Animal Proteins
- Fatty cuts of red meat, including beef, pork and lamb
- Processed meats like sausage and bacon
- Poultry with skin
- Full-fat dairy products, including cream, butter and cheese
Bottom Line: If you’re trying to lose weight and are taking the calorie-reduction approach, consider being a little more discerning when it comes to which foods you’re trimming from your diet. Cutting refined grains, foods high in saturated fat and those with added sugars will prove to be beneficial, but keeping and even upping foods that are healthy sources of proteins may further your weight-loss success.
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Protein Bars For Weight Loss
If you usually do strength training to lose weight, your protein intake should be higher than the average person who does not lift weights. Protein bars are a smart pre or post-workout high protein snack.
The secret is finding healthy protein bars that are low in sugar and free from artificial additives and saturated fats, like these KIND protein bars.
Some protein bars can be a drawback to your weight loss efforts if they contain too much sugar or have high calories.
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Why Do You Want To Protect Lean Mass
When cutting calories to shed pounds, you will lose a combination of fat and muscle weight. But your goal should be to lose more fat than muscle.
More lean mass means a better body composition – helping you look more toned and lean overall. Muscle is also your storage place for carbs , meaning you can process carbs and store them more efficiently, the more muscle you have – leading to less body fat storage. So when it comes to losing weight, maintaining your muscle is going to be a huge benefit.
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How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake
Bodybuilding.com’s protein calculator starts with the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, which is considered by our nutritionists and dieticians to be the “gold standard” of calorie calculators. Here’s how it works:
Calculate basal metabolic rate , or the calories your body burns simply by being alive. For men: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age + 5 For women: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age -161
Then, this BMR count is multiplied, depending on your activity level:
Sedentary = 1.2
Soy Protein Might Benefit Weight Loss
Soy protein is plant-based, as it is made from soybeans. Unlike many other plant-based proteins, it contains all the essential amino acids.
In addition, it contains soy isoflavones, which are naturally occurring antioxidants that may have other health benefits.
When it comes to weight loss and soy protein, the scientific evidence is mixed.
Some studies suggest that soy protein can boost weight loss. For example, postmenopausal women who regularly took soy isoflavone supplements experienced greater weight loss than those who didnt take supplements .
Another study among obese diabetic patients found that a weight loss diet including soy-based meal replacements like shakes resulted in an average of 4.4 pounds greater weight loss compared to a standard weight-loss diet .
Whats more, one study found that soy supplements may be just as effective as other protein sources for weight loss .
When obese adults were put on a weight-loss diet supplemented with either soy protein or whey and egg protein, both groups lost a similar amount of weight an average of 17.2 pounds over 12 weeks.
However, a recent review of over 40 studies looked at the effects of soy protein on weight, waist circumference and fat mass and found no real benefits of soy supplements .
Only in very specific circumstances were soy and soy isoflavones associated with a lower BMI, such as in women taking doses less than 100 mg per day and over 26 month periods.
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How To Lose Weight
In purely scientific terms, losing weight comes down to the numbers. Its maths: if you expend more energy than you consume, you will be in a caloric deficit and this will theoretically lead to weight loss. Calorie expenditure isnt just the energy you burn doing exercise. Its also made up of your BMR , NEAT , and TEF .
But as anyone who has tried getting lean will tell you, losing weight isnt that simple. After all, we are humans, not robots. We need to add various human factors to the maths, including adherence, hunger, cravings, patience, and compliance.
What Are The Risks Of Too Much Protein
High-protein diets, like the Atkins, Paleo and keto diets, are popular because they help keep you feeling full. They also allow you to eat fats. However, there are also well-documented risks to following these diets for a long period.
Some of the unintended consequences of eating a high-protein diet include:
- Bone loss, though its unclear how protein causes calcium deficiencies
- Cancer and heart disease risks, especially from eating excess red meat
- Constipation from not eating enough fiber
- Diarrhea from eating too many dairy-protein and fried foods
- Kidney damage as your body tries to eliminate excess amino acids in proteins
- Weight gain from eating too many calories
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Protein Shakes To Control Calories
All lean protein sources will help you achieve a healthy, calorie-controlled diet to lose more weight. But protein powder and protein shakes really come into their own. Why? Because they deliver extremely high levels of protein with barely any other macronutrients, meaning they are a low-calorie way to get the protein you need.
Drinking a protein shake during the day will give you all the benefits of protein, with almost zero carbs and fats. Take a look at PhD Diet Whey which gives you 34g protein per 50g serving . Diet Whey also contains useful dieting extras like l-carnitine, green tea extract, and CLA.
Some people may find a meal replacement shake useful when dieting, Diet Whey Lean MRP takes all the fuss out of planning a meal and ensures you have all the nutrients and minerals that you would find in a well-balanced meal in a convenient and delicious shake. PhDs Diet Whey range even features a protein bar, Diet Whey Bar which comes in under 200 calories, making it easy to slot into any calorie controlled diet did I mention it was triple layered and still under 200 calories!
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My Take On High Protein Foods
Protein is essential for building muscle, maintaining a healthy weight, and feeling full. But what about the other benefits of protein? From boosting your immune system to fighting to age, its clear that high-protein foods are worth adding to our diet.
Even if you are on a keto diet, then too we need enough proteins and fats.
So what does this all mean for me?! Make sure that at least one-third of the things you eat each day come from protein sources! This means two servings per meal with three meals per day so six servings total!
Do not forget to grab your effective fitness journal.
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What Are The Health Benefits Of A High
Making sure that every meal and snack have a good source of protein in them will help keep you more focused and feeling satiated and satisfied throughout the day, Zeitlin says. Protein also helps build and maintain strong muscles so you may notice your body looking a lot leaner, even without working out.
Additionally, if youre cutting back on a lot of white flour items to make room for more protein then youll also reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, which may be contributing to weight gain. You may also notice that your skin looks clearer and brighter with less white starch and more protein, says Zeitlin.
Stick To Whole Foods Over Supplements
Refueling doesn’t have to involve an expensive shake or supplement, either . A simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an easy after-exercise snack that’s portable and has a good balance of nutrients, according to Clark.
” are pre-wrapped, convenient, easily available, but they aren’t magic. Real food always works better. Your muscles don’t need just protein, they need a whole complex matrix of nutrients,” Clark said.
It’s best to focus on building balanced meals and snacks aim for making about a third of your plate healthy protein, a third veggies or produce, and the remainder healthy carbs, she recommends.