The high protein diet is a popular weight loss tool. The origins of the high protein diet go back many decades and it was popularised originally by bodybuilders and other strength trainers. In fact much of the experimentation with the diet was done by these early athletic pioneers. More recently the high protein diet has gone mainstream and many people now use it as an effective aid to weight loss. So why is it so effective and is it worth trying?
High Protein Diets Reduce Appetite
One of the reasons for the popularity of the high protein diet is the fact that it curbs appetite. Getting hungry is a big problem for most people trying to lose weight. Managing appetite is paramount in effective weight loss, and high protein diets do this better than any diet. Protein reduces appetite because undigested protein in the intestine signals the body to keep food in the stomach for longer. This means the stomach remains full, and as a result you feel full more quickly.
High Protein Diets Increase Muscle Mass
Remember I said high protein diets were popular with bodybuilders? Well the reason for this is that protein is required for muscle growth. Low protein diets decrease the ability of the body to maintains its skeletal muscle. If you lose muscle your metabolic rate falls and fat burning stops. Eating a high protein diet prevents this happening and maintains a higher metabolic rate. This means you burn more fat and lose more weight.
High Protein Diets Reduce Fat Storage
You can easily convert fat and carbohydrate to unsightly body fat. After you eat, any carbohydrate and fat is shuttled quickly to your waist where it sits and taunts you. However, protein is not so easy for the body to store. In fact the chances of dietary protein ending up as body fat are much less that carbohydrate or fat. That’s because the body needs to use a lot of energy to break down the amino acids in protein. The more protein you eat, the more energy is required for this process.
High Protein Diets Are Low Sugar Diets
The fact is that most high protein foods do not contain sugar. Because sugar is a primary driver of weight gain, high protein diets indirectly limit the cause of the problem. In addition, most convenience foods are low protein foods. So by switching to a high protein diet, you significantly reduce the amount of low quality junk food you consume. This is probably one of the most significant contributors to the success of high protein diets, but the most overlooked.
Should I Try A High Protein Diet?
If you haven't tried a high protein diet before, you should give it a try. Most people find some success with them over the long term. Scientific studies also show that they are more successful than either high fat or high carbohydrate diets at causing weight loss. A little trick is to make sure you eat the protein component of any meal off your plate first. This way the protein will reach the intestine and cut your appetite before you eat too much.