Fad diets go in and out of fashion all the time and most of them don’t work—some are even harmful to your health—but the one type of diet that never goes out of fashion is a high protein diet.
Cutting things out completely, even sugary treats, is usually a recipe for failure, but focusing on maximizing protein naturally eliminates many unhealthy foods from your diet.
Protein is also essential for muscle growth, repair and energy, and who doesn’t want more of those benefits?
Check out these amazing benefits of a high protein diet:
- Less hunger and lower calorie intake
Protein fills you up more quickly and is often found in combination with high concentrations of healthy fats. Eat high protein foods and you’ll find yourself satisfied with much smaller portions. This makes it ideal for anyone trying to lose weight. If you’re trying to lose weight you should make sure to eat at least 1.6kg of protein every day. This will improve your ability to turn food into energy. Of course, combining a high protein diet with a vigorous workout routine will help you lose the largest amount of weight.
- Less belly fat
A number of studies have connected a high protein intake—at least 10 grams at every meal—with noticeably lower belly fat ratios. This is because 10 grams is the amount you need to truly operate protein synthesis, allowing you to more efficiently transform the food into energy. Belly fat has been shown to be the most dangerous type of fat and is associated with several conditions including heart attack and stroke, so doing everything you can to get rid of it is essential.
- Greater muscle growth
Whether or not you combine it with a regular workout you can rest assured that you’ll experience some muscle growth by increasing the amount of protein in your diet. If you are working out you’ll find that a massive protein boost provides an equal energy boost that helps you get through even the most intense workouts. Combine the two and you’ll see impressive muscle gains in no time. Your muscles will also recover more quickly when you consume large amounts of protein, allowing you to perform more vigorous workouts more regularly.
- Better bone density and less risk of osteoporosis
The amino acids in protein are not only essential for producing high amounts of energy and building muscle, they’re also essential for building bones. A high protein diet increases your bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. This makes it particularly important for women to eat a high protein diet as they are naturally at much higher risk of osteoporosis than men.
- Better sleep
People with protein heavy diets tend to get higher quality sleep and suffer from fewer sleep interruptions. More research needs to be done but scientists believe protein may optimize a chemical transmitter balance.
Some people find that a high protein diet makes it difficult for them to fall asleep because it fills them with too much energy. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep add more carbs to your final meal of the day to help bring on sleepiness. Make sure you stick to healthy carbs such as high-carb fruits and whole grains. Rice is an excellent option for dinner.
- Better brain function
Protein doesn’t only wake your body up, it also wakes your mind up and provides you with the mental focus you need to be at your best every day. Many of the nutrients often found in high protein foods are also essential for optimal brain function such as vitamin B12. Extra protein can provide a crucial boost to people struggling with conditions like ADD and various emotional disorders. A high protein diet may also slow down the mental effects of aging.
- Lower blood pressure
A high protein intake (over 1/4 of your diet) has been associated with a significant drop in blood pressure in patients with hypertension, on average 2mm higher than what most medications can accomplish. It may also be able to prevent blood pressure conditions in cases where there isn’t a pre-existing one.
- Greater enjoyment of life as you age
There are many companies who would like you to think that their product is a miracle cure that will prevent all the unpleasantness of aging, but the only thing that will slow down aging is a complete lifestyle change. Switching to a high protein diet is one of the best things you can do to slow down aging. On top of providing you with the energy you need to stay fit and helping you get your beauty sleep—because let’s face it, we all want to look good as we age—a high protein diet can provide better blood sugar tolerance, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
While many fad diets have actually been proven to actually make your health worse and shorten your life, today’s research suggests that a high protein diet may provide you with up to 10 extra years of healthy, active life.
You should always eat the way that makes you feel best, but if you haven’t given a high protein diet a try it’s about time you did. A high protein diet will produce better results than any fad diet and allows you to eat a wide variety of foods—you’d be amazed where you can find high concentrations of protein. Nuts and certain vegetables such as broccoli are also excellent sources of protein.