Going on a high protein diet has become quite a popular thing in recent years and there are many programs that are classified as such plans and promote boosting the percentage of calories that you get from protein way higher than most people eat on a regular basis.
Some of the more well known high protein diet plans include the Zone and the Atkins diet, and there are others. Typically, these are plans that call on you to consume 30% and upward of your entire calorie intake from protein.
Why do people go on such diets? What are the possible benefits? What are the potential health risks you need to be aware of? In this article, I will share with you both the good things and the bad about using a high protein diet.
Why Protein Can Be Good For Fat Loss
Protein can indeed be very beneficial for fat loss due to a number of reasons:
1. Protein is a thermogenic food so it gives you a short metabolic boost. The body needs to use a lot of energy to digest protein which means a greater calorie burn.
2. Protein helps to build your muscle tissue (provided you workout and do strength exercises). As more muscle tissue means a higher metabolism, you can see how protein can provide a greater fat burning rate.
3. Protein is a high satiety nutrient, meaning that it helps to keep you full for longer. An excellent way to reduce cravings and avoid overeating.
Naturally, these pros are only worthwhile if you eat protein in moderating. A lot of diet plans go overboard and require an extreme amount of daily protein consumption. This can be risky. In fact, the AHA (American Heart Association) does not recommend these kinds of diets. They do carry some risks which include:
1. A lack of other essential nutrients. In their focus on protein above all else, high protein diets may cause you to not get enough of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs for health reasons.
2. Kidney issues – Too much protein can put a great load on the kidneys, something that can lead to problems later on. This can be a big health issue. One way to lower the risk of this happening to you is to drink a lot of water while on a high protein diet. However, bear in mind that this is not a foolproof solution.
In conclusion, be aware that eating too much protein can do more harm than good. While it is a nutrient that can contribute to weight loss, eat it in moderation.