High Protein Diet Plan – 5 Benefits and Tips to Follow It Safely
A high protein diet plan is often followed by bodybuilders and athletes who need to build muscle and help control their appetite, while reducing body fat at the same time. A protein diet is not the same as a no carb diet, which simply looks to reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat while increasing your intake of fats, although the two diet plans can be used to together for maximum benefit. If you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle tone, curb your appetite, and enjoy better overall health, consider why you might follow an eating plan with high protein content, and how to safely increase your intake of protein.
- Curbing the appetite with a high protein diet plan
Protein rich foods help to fill you up, as protein contains a chemical that sends a signal to the brain, telling your body that your stomach is full. Carbohydrates, sugars, and other such nutrients don’t contain this chemical, so it’s easy to overeat these foods while it’s very difficult to eat too much protein rich food. Consider how hard it is to stuff yourself with chicken, beef, and other such foods with protein, while it’s very easy to eat too many baked goods, sugary desserts, and the like!
High protein meals also take a long time to break down in the digestive system, so your body feels full for much longer when you have high protein foods. In turn, you’re less likely to snack between meals or deal with hunger pains; you can then more readily control your appetite and your eating.
- Protein foods and weight loss
There are a few reasons why a high protein diet plan can help with weight loss; one is the appetite control, mentioned above. However, protein rich food usually has far fewer calories per ounce than other foods, so you can fill up without taking in too many calories and packing on the pounds.
As an example, 3 ounces of chicken breast has just over 100 calories, whereas a standard English muffin of about 2 ounces typically has 150 calories, and 3 ounces of French fries may have over 260 calories. By adding protein rich food to your diet, you can eat more while taking in fewer calories, so you can more readily lose weight without feeling as if you’re starving yourself!
- Muscle tone with protein
Protein is one of the main building blocks of muscles; without good sources of protein, you can actually work out and lift weights every single day, but see few if any results when it comes to building muscle and improving your muscle tone. Note, too, that when you use your muscles, they suffer microscopic tears from being stretched and pulled, and without adequate protein rich foods in your diet, your body may struggle to repair these tears. In turn, you may actually feel more muscle fatigue and weakness because of doing this damage. Consider following a good protein diet even if you’re not looking to be a bodybuilder, just to protect against this damage and potential muscle weakness, and especially as you get older and muscles tend to lose tone and strength.
- Controlling blood sugar with protein diet foods
Carbohydrates break down as sugar in the body, which can then spike a person’s blood glucose levels. However, protein doesn’t have this effect on a your blood sugar, and can actually help the body to better absorb blood glucose. Persons with blood sugar disorders, including diabetes and hypoglycemia, can help control their blood sugar with high protein snacks throughout the day, and by following a protein diet plan.
- Nutrients in a protein diet
Vegetables, fresh fruit, and other such foods have a number of vitamins and trace minerals your body needs, but protein sources usually have lots of other nutrients that are essential for good health. For example, nuts and fish both have a high amount of healthy fats that your body needs for digestion and for absorbing other nutrients, and for moisturizing and nourishing your skin and other organs. Protein rich food usually include lots of iron, which is used by the body to create healthy blood cells as well as strong fingernails and toenails; these protect your digits and help keep them warm, so don’t overlook the importance of strong and healthy nails and of the nutrients you get with your protein foods list!
Healthy foods with high protein
Meat may have one of the highest concentrations of protein, but filling up on fatty beef and processed meats like bacon won’t help your overall health. Some people also find meat, and especially beef, very difficult to digest. Consider adding more fish and fowl, meaning chicken and turkey, to your high protein, low carb diet; you’ll get the protein you need without the same fat and calorie content as you would with beef.
Nuts and legumes are also protein rich foods, and they make for great high protein snacks. Walnuts and almonds are especially healthy, as they are high in healthy oils without the same fat and calorie content as cashews and peanuts. Soy products including tofu are also very good sources of protein; consider switching to soy milk and using tofu as a meat substitute in stir fry dishes, soups and stews, and other such foods.
Cautions about an all protein diet
While a high protein diet plan can be the best thing for losing weight and building muscle, remember that you still need the nutrients found in other foods, including vegetables and fresh fruit. You also won’t find fiber in any animal products, so be sure you get lots of healthy vegetables, oats, whole wheat, and other such foods when you follow a high protein diet plan, or make sure that soy and legumes make up the bulk of your all protein diet so you get your needed fiber. Even if you cut out carbs, you may still need to count your calories for weight loss, and avoid artery clogging foods like bacon when you fill up on protein.