If you’re looking to see fast weight loss success, a protein diet is a smart way to go. Many people who are going on weight loss programs completely overlook the importance of protein, and if anything start to reduce it from their diet plan.
This is quite possibly the biggest mistake that you could make because doing so is going to immediately hinder your progress.
In fact, if there’s one nutrient that you should be increasing as you go about your weight loss program, protein is it.
Let’s take a quick look at why protein is so important and how to structure your very own protein diet.
Why Taking In Protein Is A Must
First let’s go over why it’s so important that you are making sure that you take in enough protein with your diet plan. Protein is going to be essential for a number of reasons.
First, whenever you diet, you’ll be at a higher risk of losing lean muscle tissue. With the body taking in fewer calories than it would ideally like, you may start to burn up some of the incoming protein you eat as energy, leaving less protein left over to sustain the muscle cells. This could then result in loss of lean tissue, which would then cause your metabolism to slow down.
Therefore, protein needs go up when you diet. By providing more than you need, if some is burned for energy, it’s not going to be that big of a deal.
The second reason why a high protein diet works well for losing weight is because protein is superior for hunger control. Eating more protein will help to keep you satisfied, so you’re less likely to snack between your scheduled meals.
In addition to this, protein also helps to control blood glucose levels much better, which is key for keeping hunger as well as energy levels regulated. If you’re not eating enough protein throughout the day, you may find that you get high blood sugar fluctuations which just kick your desire to eat into overdrive.
Those who fill their diet mostly of processed carbs will notice this to the extreme, so it’s very important to opt for a higher protein, lower carb approach when hunger is a concern.
Finally, getting enough protein will also make sure that you are recovering as quickly as possible from any workout sessions that you do. If you’re participating in intense weight lifting, you will need those amino acids to help rebuild back the body stronger than it was before.
Miss out on those and you’ll be left with broken down tissues and start getting weaker, rather than stronger from your workout sessions.
So as you can see, there are a number of reasons why you will really benefit from a high protein diet with your program plan.
Important Things To Note As You Increase Your Protein Intake
As you go about increasing your protein intake with your diet, one thing that you do need to keep in mind is that a higher protein diet will dehydrate you slightly, so you’ll want to increase your consumption of water at the same time.
This will help to ease any negative side effects associated with a higher protein diet, so will be a must to see optimal success.
Choosing The Best Protein For Your Diet Plan
In addition to the above, make sure that you are also choosing lower fat sources of protein to add into your diet as there can be high amounts of saturated fat – which is bad fat, found in protein sources.
For example, if you’re constantly eating high fat meats such as fatty steak, bacon, sausage, and so on, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good.
This is the style that the older, outdated version of the Atkins diet used and it will put you at health risk. When you choose these varieties of protein, you’ll also end up taking in far more calories than you should be eating, which will further increase the chances that you begin to gain extra body fat.
Instead, choose lean sources such as chicken, turkey, lean steak, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, whey protein powder, as well as fish and seafood.
Higher fat varieties of fish are okay to include in your high protein diet because these contain the healthy forms of fat that the body requires. In fact, you should be including fatty varieties of fish such as salmon and mackerel at least three times a week for optimal health.
If you aren’t, then supplementing with some fish oil would be a very wise choice.
When it comes to the amount of protein that you should be eating on your protein diet, aim for around 1.2-1.5 grams per pound of body weight. The lower your calorie intake is, the higher your protein should be to help offset any protein that’s burned up for fuel.
What To Do Once You Reach Your Goal Weight
So now that you know what you need to do to reach your weight loss goal with a high protein diet, what happens when you arrive at that goal weight?
Using a higher protein diet is still a good plan to help you maintain your goal weight due to the hunger busting benefits it provides. But, at this point you should safely be able to decrease your intake to around one gram per pound without a problem.
Since you’ll be adding more fat and carbohydrate calories back into your diet, there is a much lower chance that the body will start using protein as a fuel source, so you simply don’t need to have as high of a protein intake.
One gram per pound per day will provide all the amino acids your body needs to sustain its lean body mass as well as execute all the other tasks that protein is used for in your system.
So there you have the main points to note about a high protein diet. Strongly consider it if you want to see weight loss success.
[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.[/stextbox]