Protein not only has many benefits for our bodies but is actually essential as it plays a part in many of our vital body processes such as:

– Muscle repair and maintenance – Providing Energy – Hormones synthesis – Enzymes synthesis – Molecules transportation – Antibodies (illness defense)

But in this post, we’ll discuss a very important benefit of protein intake that’s not often talked about, which is its role in accelerating weight loss. Specifically, we’re going to focus on belly fat, which is the most dangerous fat in your body.    

THE SCIENCE BEHIND HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN INTAKE.

JP Loenneke, Researcher at the Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma published an article about the influence of Quality Protein intake on the percent of Central Abdominal Fat (CAF). In his article, Doctor Loenneke concluded that consuming high-quality protein daily contributes significantly to reducing the percent of CAF. This is important since CAF is one of the most important markers for disease and mortality among people suffering overweight and obese conditions. Also, back in 2006, a Danish team of researchers headed by Halkjaer, J. conducted a trial with 22,570 women and 20,126 men in the age range of 50-64 years old. In this trial, the researchers followed up on all changes to Waist Circumference (WC) for all participants to determine if there was any relationship between WC and protein intake level. Their research concluded that there is enough evidence to prove an inverse relationship between protein consumption (especially animal protein) and WC in both women and men. Finally, one more trial conducted by Soenen, S. from Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute of Maastricht determined the importance of quality protein intake to preserve muscle during weight loss.  

HOW QUALITY PROTEIN ACTUALLY HELPS YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT

Eating protein contributes to weight loss in three different ways:

1. Protein increases feelings of fullness: According to Science Direct, evidence shows that eating protein makes you feel full with less food; as a result, you will tend to eat smaller portions and lose weight.

2. Protein reduces appetite: A research published by Weigle, DS from the University of Washington School of Medicine found that an increase in dietary protein from 15% to 30% produces a sustained decrease of appetite that results in significant weight loss.

3. Protein reduces calorie intake: The same research previously mentioned concluded also that protein intake reduces ad libitum caloric intake contributing to accelerated weight loss.

 

WHAT PROTEIN DO I EAT?

When it comes to the benefits of protein, this is the key question to ask. If you want to enjoy the benefits of protein and burn more fat, you need to make sure that the protein you eat is high quality. How do you know what a high-quality protein is? To determine the quality of protein at first sight just consider the source of the protein. So, ask yourself a few questions: is the protein I’m about to eat coming from fast food? Is it highly processed? If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, it’s probably better to avoid eating that specific protein source, not only because they won’t help you to lose weight but also because highly processed foods are strongly related to cancer due to the substances used in industrial processing. For example, meat in a typical hamburger has a certain level of protein for sure, but it’s also loaded with salt and fat as well. Hamburgers, then, aren’t a healthy way of getting high-quality protein, in fact, this is low quality. So then, what should you be eating? To help you make good decisions here’s our list of high-quality protein you should add to your diet:  

1. Fish: Seafood is high in protein and low in saturated fat. It’s also high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, this is why experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week.

2. Poultry: Chicken and turkey are really good sources of high-quality protein. The only recommendation here is to go organic to avoid hormones and pesticides.

3. Dairy Products: Dairy products are awesome sources of healthy, high-quality protein as well. In this case, just be careful avoid sugary ones and processed cheese.

4. Beans:  Beans are a very special kind of food since they are packed full of both protein and fiber, so they are an excellent option to boost your protein intake.

5. Nuts and Seeds: Similar to beans they are awesome at providing protein and fiber.

How Eating 100 Grams of Peanuts Every Day Can Help You Lose Weight (Backed by Science)
 

HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD I EAT

To determine the amount of protein (remember, high-quality protein!), it’s necessary to consider three important factors:

– Your age. – Your activity level. – Your current weight.

The minimum amount of protein you should eat to be healthy is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, per day, as determined by Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). So let’s do the math: If you are a sedentary 160-pound woman you will need to consume 160*0.36 = 57.6 grams of protein per day. Really simple, isn’t it? Now, let’s add in some other factors. In case you are a very active person, experts recommend increasing protein intake from 0.36 grams to 0.50 grams per pound. For the purpose of this post, you are considered a very active person if you perform 35 to 40 minutes of moderate exercise four or five days a week. If you are trying to lose weight it is recommended to eat 30% of your daily calorie intake in the form of protein. Finally, if you are in the middle age, you may consider eating at least 0.68 grams per pound since according to Nancy Rodriguez Ph.D., professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, eating this much protein will help you prevent osteoporosis as well as maintain and rebuild muscle as you get older.  

HOW DO I GET STARTED

If after reading this post you are interested in getting started on a high-quality protein diet, we recommend you follow the Ketogenic Diet for a few reasons:

1. The Ketogenic Diet has been recommended by many professionals due to its benefits and the fact that it was developed on a scientific background.

2. The Ketogenic Diet starts working within 2-4 days after you get started, this means that you lose weight fast.

3. The Ketogenic Diet is easy to follow since it focuses on tasty foods like meat, fish, milk, cheese, nuts, and beans.

4. The Ketogenic Diet helps you control your appetite since it focuses on eating proteins that make you feel full with less.

5. The Ketogenic Diet has other benefits going beyond weight loss like:

• Increases in mental focus. • Increases in energy levels. • Helps Fight Type II Diabetes. • Increases in levels of HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol). • Lowering of Blood Pressure.

If you want to learn more about the Keto Diet, here is an article you may want to read:
Ketogenic Diet: The Basics & How to Get Started Easily
As you can see following the Keto Diet properly may have a lot more benefits than just losing weight. That said, it’s worth noting that the Keto Diet has some side effects that you may consider before getting started. But for your peace of mind, all side effects of Keto Diet can be overcome in very simple ways and we will be discussing that subject in a later post. Regardless the diet you decide to follow, our most important recommendation at Welfr.com is that you ask your doctor first. A doctor can help you take into account other factors that may affect the way you lose weight and the consequences of making changes in your diet.  

WHAT FACTORS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

There are many different cases, but when you lose weight, it is important to consider things like:  

1. Your history: Do you suffer from any form cardiovascular disease? Diabetes? Epilepsy? High Blood Pressure?

2. Your family history: Does anybody in your family ever suffered a heart attack or any other chronic disease?

3. Your current weight: Depending on your current weight, your doctor will advise you to take some cautions.

4. Your medication: If you’re taking medication for any serious medical condition, you definitely want to ask your doctor before getting started.

  Finally, no matter what you do, run away from fad diets! Please remember that losing weight the wrong way is as bad for your health as being obese, so don’t even try those weird “juicing”, “detox”, “red-tea”, “eat only carrots” diets that don’t sound like real food. Our body needs specific foods to work properly. They don’t work, no matter what they tell you. Well, this is it. I hope you find some of the advice in this post helpful, and here we always try to give the best advice for weight loss that actually works. As always, if you found this post helpful please share it with family and friends. I also invite you to join the conversation in the comments below, let us know your ideas and suggestions. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us a message by filling the form available here.
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