GUEST POST by author of GoodHealthPlanning.com, Harry Wilson.
People bicker about carbs and fat but the role of protein in a healthy diet is undisputed.
Protein is one of the most crucial nutrients for the body.
Fat and carbs are the other two important macronutrients. Natural sources of protein include both plants and animals. From dairy products and meat through to fish and eggs, protein is everywhere.
With regard to weight loss, the benefits of a diet rich in protein is polarised. This article at Harvard TH Chan School Of Public Health outlines some of the positive results of increasing your protein intake if you want to lose weight.
If you hear protein and exercise together, the image that probably springs to mind is of someone hammering the protein shakes before and after hitting the weight bench.
Put simply, if you work out you rip your muscles. When they repair on rest days, loading up on protein will help you to put on lean muscle mass.
We will look today at some of the various reasons to eat a diet laden with protein as the cornerstone of a healthy eating plan.
1) Stay Fuller For Longer
Our body is affected in different ways by fat, carbs and protein, those 3 essential macronutrients.
Of these, protein is far and away the most filling.
As well as increasing peptide YY, the hormone that makes us feel full, it also diminishes ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
This study shows that when protein was increased to account for 30% of all calories, some of the overweight women ate hundreds of calories less each day. They had not intentionally eaten less.
For sound scientific reasons, upping the proportion of protein in your diet will help you to feel fuller for longer.
So let’s start by focusing on you; and what your fitness goals might be.
2) Enhance Muscle Mass and Strength
For anyone working out, the amount of protein you need is frequently a point of debate.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition outline here their official position on the recommended portions of protein.
When you are weight training, your goal is usually to pack on lean muscle. The main component of muscle is protein. You need to take on board the right quantity of protein before and after working out. In return, you’ll enjoy gains in muscle size and strength.
An added bonus of a diet with high levels of protein is that you can prevent muscle loss during any process of weight loss.
3) Protein Can Lower Blood Pressure
When it comes to strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease, high blood pressure is one of the main culprits.
Several studies have shown that eating plenty of protein can help to lower this blood pressure. It can bring down both systolic and diastolic readings.
For improved blood pressure and overall heart benefits, eating protein is a step in the right direction and easy to achieve.
4) After An Injury, Protein Helps Heal The Body
Protein makes up the principal building blocks of our organs and tissue.
If you consume more protein after you have picked up an injury, your road to recovery should be swifter.
This useful study details the link between protein and wound healing.
5) Lose Weight For Good By Boosting Your Protein Intake
Yo-yo diets are not the best solution for weight loss. You might shift a few pounds but you make no meaningful, lasting changes to your approach to food. Ultimately, you’ll end the diet and the weight is likely to return, sometimes with interest.
If you start eating more food heavy in protein, your metabolism will speed up and you will crave food less in general. This alone leads to a natural drop in your calorific intake.
For anyone trying to lose weight, one of the principal advantages of this method is that you will lose weight without any accompanying feelings of restriction. Feeling deprived is the key to impulse eating of the wrong type of food.
This is not a quick-fix attack to weight loss but should deliver lasting results.
You will also be able to more comfortably maintain your weight loss. Check out here how a modest upswing in protein can deliver impactful results when it comes to weight regain.
6) Experience Less Cravings For Late Night Snacks
When you crave food, this is not the same as feeling hungry.
Your brain is looking for a reward and this often takes the place of your favourite snack.
One of the best plans to deal with cravings is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By simply eating more protein, this is a natural consequence.
Even the addition of a high-protein breakfast to your diet could be enough to stop you reaching for the wrong food impulsively.
Protein has a shower of benefits when it’s a core part of your eating habits.
Experiment by eating more of the protein you most enjoy and watch for the positive outcomes.
Author: My name is Harry Wilson. I’m the author of www.GoodHealthPlanning.com. Whether it’s workout routines, diet ideas or a guide to the equipment you need, we’ll help you get in the best shape possible.
Follow me on Twitter: @Ghealthplanning