12 High Protein Diet Benefits for Weight Loss
The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of our muscles. With this, protein becomes an indispensable component of our diet. Aside from building muscles, there are more high protein diet benefits that you can enjoy.
Our bodies don’t store protein. It uses the needed amount to support our bodily functions then flushes the excess in our urine. Still, a high-protein diet should be consumed properly to avoid taxing your kidney and liver too much.
Protein can be taken through food items like meat, veggies, and dairy. If you want a more convenient source, a whey isolate powder is unbeatable.
So how can all these help you? Here are some of the great benefits of a high-protein diet.
1. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
The number one benefit of taking high-protein diets is it helps you lose weight. It helps your body burn calories faster, thanks to protein’s thermic effect. Protein also helps you consume fewer calories while expelling more calories out. The result? Healthy weight loss!
Again, our bodies don’t store protein which is added benefit. With this, you can eat more protein-rich food without affecting your diet too much – at least, if you watch out for the calories.
Protein also helps you build lean muscles that will become your systems fat incinerator. This will have a compounding effect on your weight loss.
If paired with physical activity, more stored fats will be released and used. And when you have more muscles, more calories will be burned even at rest.
As much as eating protein alone won’t make you instantly fit, it plays a vital role in your wellness.
2. INCREASED ENERGY
Carbohydrates are our bodies’ main source of energy. However, this is easy to break down and digest. So after an hour or two of eating high-carb food, you will be hungry for more. When you satisfy this craving, your bloodstream will be filled with excess glucose that will be stored as fats.
But the scenario will be different if you eat high-protein meals instead. Protein is slower to break down than carbs which keeps you safe from crashes usually associated with the sugar rush.
With protein, your energy lasts longer while keeping your insulin levels at a normal level. This is the total opposite of consuming too many carbs where your insulin levels spike and fall dangerously.
It’s ideal to eat a high-protein breakfast to have a big dose of energy to start your day. If you’re too busy to prepare a hearty breakfast, you can use whey protein isolate powders instead. Just put one scoop in a shaker bottle with water, shake, and you’re good to go.
3. EXCELLENT HAIR HEALTH
One of the least known high protein diet benefits is that protein can help in hair growth. Actually, our hair is made of protein fibers. It makes perfect sense why you need to ingest more protein to support your hair growth.
If you consume less protein, your body would have to ration the supply to a more important process. Your hair follicles will suffer the cutback which will make it frizzy, brittle, and dry.
Remember, however, that protein isn’t the only substance that determines the health of your hair. The likes of iron, biotin, and keratin are also important.
Your hair continues to be in the growing phase for three years. After that, it will enter the resting phase for three months before it sheds. If you don’t eat enough protein, the majority of your hair will exit the growing phase and shed all at the same time.
To be safe, consume 30% of your calories from protein.
4. IMPROVED SLEEP
Who would have thought that your whey protein shakes can actually help your sleep? This may sound contradicting since protein can boost your energy. However, if you take it at the right time, you may actually have a restful slumber at night.
As much as eating protein at breakfast is great, you should also save some of your day’s allotment at least three hours before bedtime. Protein is our muscle’s building block. Meanwhile, sleep is a regenerative phase where our bodies repair damages and heal injuries. Combine these two and you will have a rejuvenating experience.
While we sleep, our body goes into protein synthesis. This is when the muscle damages are healed and our system replenishes the lost energy throughout the day. But without enough protein, your body can’t perform protein synthesis enough to cover all your body’s needs.
Taking protein before bedtime is easy. Prepare a hearty dinner with whey protein or simply gulp a protein shake.
5. IMPROVED BONE HEALTH
One of the benefits of low carb high protein diet is that it helps improve your bone health. Studies found that high protein intake can actually boost your bone’s calcium absorption and retention. Also, it’s found that protein has a high potential to stop the onset of bone-thinning conditions like osteoporosis.
There’s medical proof that protein can help repair bone loss if paired with adequate calcium intake. This is why older adults need to take more protein. Aside from halting bone loss, a higher protein uptake will also keep their muscles from breaking down due to reduced physical activities.
The safe range for people with healthy kidneys is protein intake of 30 to 60 grams a day. If you’re busy to prepare meals, you can use whey isolates to cover the majority of your intake.
For senior individuals, it’s best to consult a doctor first before trying a new diet.
6. FASTER RECOVERY FROM INJURIES
Protein is directly responsible for repairing the damages and injuries in our bodies. When we exercise, our muscles experience small tears. This is the reason why we feel sore after our drills. With the right protein intake, you can speed up your recovery.
Let’s take whey protein isolates for example. This fast-digesting protein powder is excellent as a post-workout regimen. The amino acids will be delivered to your sore muscles fast so it can recover right away. This goes the same for internal organ injuries as long as your doctor approves.
Also, the high protein diet benefits were observed in to boost a person’s immune system. It also arrests the severity of infections so you can recuperate faster. So if you get sick, try eating more protein (as long as it doesn’t contradict your doctor’s orders) to aid your body in the healing process.
NOTE: Make sure that you eat clean protein sources like lean meat, whey powder, and veggies.
7. IMPROVED FOCUS
Are you finding it hard to concentrate these past days? Are you always experiencing crashes in the middle of the day? The chances are you’re eating too many carbs with very little protein.
What happens is that your body gets pumped up with high sugar levels after eating carb-rich food. But once you expelled this high energy, you will wallow into the so-called ‘crash’ where you suddenly run out of energy to focus and perform physical activities.
One of the benefits of low carb high protein diet is keeping crashes at bay. Eat more protein in the morning so your body will have a sustained source of energy. It will also help you focus more without going hungry too fast.
Too busy to prepare high-protein food? Just boil two eggs and chomp it for breakfast. Try alternating it with meat and veggies for the next days.
8. FIGHTING CRAVINGS AND HUNGER!
There are three macronutrients in the food we eat: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Of the three, protein is the most satiating without packing up a lot of calories. But unfortunately, most of us love gobbling down high-carb and high-fat food from fast foods and cafés.
Protein has the ability to reduce the production of your ghrelin hormone also known as your hunger hormone. By increasing the levels of peptide YY in your system, you will feel full even without eating a lot of calories.
This is also the reason why protein is an indispensable component of weight loss. Aside from supporting muscle growth, it also arrests untimely hunger and craving pangs.
By eating more protein, you can actually reduce calorie intake by as much as 440 calories a day. And you can do that even without any restrictive diet terms.
Make sure that you eat complete and clean protein so as not to defeat the purpose of your uptake.
9. FASTER METABOLISM
When we eat, our metabolism speeds up momentarily. This is due to the fact that our bodies burn calories to sustain the digestion of food. Such a process is called the thermic effect.
Almost all food items have a thermic effect, but each one varies in levels. Protein, for one, has one of the highest thermic effects. Compared to carbohydrates’ thermic effect of 15% tops, protein can be as high as 35%. This is why protein is better than carbs in so many ways. Still, we need enough carbs to sustain the energy needs of our bodies.
Also, the high protein diet benefits are seen to boost our metabolism to the point that we can burn an extra 100 calories without changing anything in our routines.
Some people would even burn more at a record high of 260 calories by just increasing their protein intake. That’s equivalent to an hour of moderate exercise.
10. STAYING FIT EVEN AT AN OLD AGE
As discussed earlier, protein has the ability to reverse bone loss if paired with enough calcium. At the same time, high protein intake among older adults is proven to delay muscle loss due to old age.
By the time we reach the age of 40, our muscles start to break down and our metabolism will start to hit the brakes every decade. This can be prevented or delayed if you eat more protein and stay in shape.
This will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, injuries, and poor posture. Aside from taking more protein, it’s important that older adults continue to exercise to keep their muscles in check.
Also, protein helps in the production of glutathione which acts as the natural anti-oxidant of our bodies. Glutathione is also said to improve the integrity of our DNA’s telomeres. The telomeres of our DNA degrade as we grow old and is directly related to aging.
11. STRONG LIGAMENTS AND TENDONS
Our ligaments and tendons are made up of protein just like our muscles. It’s important to keep our tendons strong, especially if we’re lifting weights or performing strenuous tasks.
By increasing your protein intake, you can avoid tendon injuries or speed up your recovery if you happen to sustain one. For sports enthusiasts, tendon and ligament injuries are the most common. It’s important that they keep it healthy to stay in top shape.
Aside from protein, Vitamins B-Complex, A, and C are also crucial. Add zinc to it and you will have a powerful muscle and tendon regimen. Most of these can be taken by food just like protein.
If you’re into HIIT training or lifting weights, don’t neglect your ligaments and tendons. One injury in this area can halt your routines for weeks and even months.
12. PROMOTING NAIL HEALTH
Yes, even your nails will benefit from taking enough protein. Just like our hair, part of our nails is made of protein. If you eat too little protein, our body will lack amino acids that will sustain the health of our nails.
Your finger and toenails will become brittle and it will chip, leaving an ugly look on your hands and feet. Still, take note that lack of protein is just one of the possible reasons for this. Our nails say a lot about our health and there might be other culprits as to why your nails are in poor health.
These high protein diet benefits will be possible if you take protein properly. If you have doubts, it always pays to ask the opinion of your doctor. Any drastic change in your diet should have the approval of a medical professional.