We’ve all heard about the protein-rich, low-carb diets that are making the rounds on the internet. Experts are claiming that high protein diets can give you better energy and can help you reduce weight. Does this hold any water? That is what we are going to find out here.
There are a lot of studies that suggest that lean protein diets are good for the body in general, and help you lose pounds. What you have to remember is that you also need to cook them in a healthy manner. Cooking lean meat or beans in high fat oils or butter will not do your arteries any good, much less your chances of becoming leaner.
Exercise Is Only A Part of the Solution
Most people think that exercise is the best way to get fit. Well, I don’t deny this, if you're looking to get physically fit. But a startling fact is that exercise only accounts for about 25-30% of weight loss. So when you are exercising to lose weight you'll want to make sure some of the exercises you do are ones that maximize the burning of calories.
If exercise accounts for 25 - 30% of weight loss, guess where the rest comes from? Yep, it comes from what you eat.
The old adage “you are what you eat” rings truer than ever here. A good diet can work wonders for reducing flab and getting more lean muscle. This means that you don't need to necessarily hit the gym to lose weight, although it is a very healthy habit for you to get into and maintain.
All said, let’s take a look at how protein can help you build lean muscle and burn away excess flab.
Reason #1 – Breaking Down Protein Burns Energy
There is something that is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Food or TEF. This is the amount of energy we expend to digest food into a medium that can be absorbed by the rest of the body. Comparatively, protein has a higher TEF factor than carbohydrates or fat, which results in your body expending more energy (burning more calories) in order to process and digest protein.
Reason #2 – Fuels Fat Loss
It is a scientific fact that fat is stored as reserves by our bodies and is used in times of need. But what most people don’t know is that burning fat requires an added fuel of either carbs or protein. The body does not just lose fat alone, it loses muscle as well. So you need to fight against muscle loss with adequate intake of protein. This causes your body to draw fat and protein rather than resorting to breaking down calorie-burning lean muscle.
Reason #3 – Satiates Much Better Than Carbs
You know that feeling of fullness you get when you have a protein-rich diet? Well, it’s not just a feeling, it's a proven fact that proteins satisfy hunger far better than carbs or fat. A study shows an in-depth analysis of the power of proteins over hunger. An interesting rule of thumb would be the more fatty a particular food group is, the less satiating it is. This is why we end up still craving potato chips even though we just polished off a whole bag.
Reason #4 – Reduce Fat And Keep It off
There are many “fad” diets that reduce your weight, but once you’re off the diet you immediately gain the weight right back. Being on a protein-rich diet has the advantage of reducing your food intake. As a result, it reduces your weight and keeps it off. This has the benefit of improving your entire metabolic profile, given enough time and the right amount of protein intake.
Reason #5 – Protein Promotes Muscle Growth
One of the ways to lose weight is to get fitter, a lot fitter! Lean muscle contributes to a higher metabolism which translates to burning more calories and excess fat from your body. The simplest way to do that is to consume adequate amounts of protein which directly helps promote muscle growth at a cellular level. Mind that you don’t consume too much protein, that can have the same effect as excess carbs or fat.
There are a ton of articles out there on the internet that expound the virtues of a protein-rich diet. Most people who have turned to proteins have been able to enjoy their benefits. This is no substitute for hard work and sweat (that is good for so many of your body's systems), so make sure you supplement this diet with a healthy dose of exercise.
Give it a shot and let me know how well it worked for you.