High protein diet for fat loss

Updated: December 23, 2012
High Protein Foods

High protein diet for fat loss? Does a high protein diet help you lose fat more effectively?

The high protein diet has become really popular and there are many reasons why it is so.

New research pertaining to a high protein diet has revealed that proteins satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbohydrates.

When you are trying to lose fat, then one of the hardest things is to control your hunger. But there are many other reasons why a high protein diet is better for fat loss.

high protein diet logoThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study where the participants reported increased satisfaction and better fat loss when fats were reduced to 20%, proteins increased to 30% and when carbohydrates were at 50%. And the participants also reported less hunger.

The study showed that the participants consumed 441 calories less per day, when they started following the high-protein diet. Another important study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that when a high protein diet was combined with exercise, fat loss improved and so did the blood fat levels.

These studies clearly reveal that a diet high in proteins helps people control  their calorie intake and appetite.

Fat loss in itself is not complicated – you just need to consume less calories and exercise more. But putting the theory into practice is often very difficult. Some people get better results with a moderate to high carbohydrate diet, while others achieve better results with a low carb diet. There are also other reasons why a high-protein diet is better for losing fat.

Thermic effect of a high protein diet

For example proteins have a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats. Which means that more calories are burned while digesting proteins than carbohydrates or fats. The higher your protein percentage in, the more calories your body has to spend and the easier you can lose fat.

A lot of the times people cut their food intake drastically, if their goal is fat loss. But very often a small decrease of calories and simple macronutrient manipulation does the trick.

Fats for example have the lowest thermic effect at around 3%. It is very important to have at least 20% of your calories from fats, especially healthy fats, but fats are also high in calories.

The thermic effect of fibrous vegetables for example is around 20%. Many of the vegetables and fruits are negative calorie foods, meaning the body burns more calories digesting them, then it gets in return.

So it is important to have vegetables and fruits in your diet as well. But proteins have a 30% thermic effect, which makes high protein diets ideal for fat loss and muscle building.

A high protein diet will also help you maintain your muscle mass much better. It is necessary to keep muscle mass when losing fat, because muscle helps you burn more protein diet sample calories. If you lose muscle, you also burn less calories.

This is the reason why bodybuilders reduce their carbohydrates and increase protein intakes when preparing for a competition. If you add proper weight training and cardio training in the mix as well, then fat loss becomes much easier.

Disadvantages of a high protein diet

There are problems with a high protein diet as well. For example a high protein diet means that you will have less carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for the body and if carbs are low, you are going to feel less energetic. And maintaining a high protein diet for long periods of time is very difficult. The main thing is not to start using any extreme diets, like very high protein and ultra low carbohydrate diets.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy, especially complex and fibrous carbohydrates. You can start out with a 30% protein, 20% fat and 50% carbohydrate ratio. And if you feel good, you can increase your protein intake and lower carbohydrate intake by 5%. But if it becomes uncomfortable, there is no point doing it. So a low-carb, high-protein diet is something you can use, but not something you must use to lose fat!

Now that you have the facts surrounding the high protein diet regimen you can begin to make an educated decision if this type of diet is something you want to undergo for long periods of time. If you very active or exercise alot, your protein requirements will be greater that someone who is not very active.

Brad ClooneyWritten by: Brad Clooney (11 Posts)

Brad is fitness trainer and writer working on LA .

Comments are Welcome!