Protein is the Holy Grail

April 22, 2013 in Blog, Blog Slideshow

By Kevin Charles

High-protein diets are nothing new, in fact the infamous ‘Atkins Diet’ was introduced in 1972, and yet over 30 years later eating more protein continues to be an effective approach to weight loss. That’s not to say that you need to subscribe to the Atkins method of eliminating all carbohydrates from your diet, but upping your protein and reducing your simple carbs can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Numerous studies have proven that high-protein diets are superior to high-carb or low-fat diets. A 2012 study in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ found that high protein diets offer better overall weight loss and fat loss than calorie-reduced diets with normal protein intake. A 2009 study in the ‘Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases’ found similar results as did several other research studies published in the last 10 years.

So how do you make a high-protein diet work for you? The first thing to remember is that even though you’ll be eating more protein, you still need to reduce your overall calories to bring on weight loss. The best way to do this is to cut your carbohydrate intake, especially when it comes to simple carbs. These are less nutritional carbohydrates such as sugar, white rice, white bread and potatoes (often called “white” foods). Replace these with whole wheat bread, brown rice and yams but make sure you reduce your portions of these replacement foods as well. Ideally, you’ll want to eat more green vegetables that are lower in calories and high in fiber. You’ll cut your calorie intake and feel full throughout the day.

You should also increase your protein intake. The best way to do this is to include protein in your breakfast. A 2005 study published in the ‘Journal of the American College of Nutrition’ concluded that eating eggs for breakfast actually helps keep you feeling full for up to 36 hours. Replace your morning bagel with a couple of eggs and you’ll increase your protein intake, reduce your daily calories and do away with hunger-pangs all in one.

Also include protein in the rest of your daily meals and snacks, paying close attention to lean proteins such as chicken and fish. And while more protein is good, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.” A study published in the 2009 issue of the ‘Journal of the American Dietetic Association’ concluded that your body can only really process 30 grams of dietary protein per meal. Any extra protein that you eat during that meal will turn to fat.