It is hard to keep track of the latest diet trends. Every year there seems to be a new diet fad that promises fast weight loss with minimal effort, although some of the diets require more effort in their preparation than just finding the time to run a marathon every day. Your weight loss plan should never feel like a 2nd job. However, one type of simplified diet plan that has remained popular is the high protein diet (also known as a high protein/very low carb diet). High protein diets have a lot of scientific proof of why they work and they are often recommended by physicians to help their patients lose weight. Here are 4 reasons why high protein diets work and why they might be the answer for you.
Reason #1 – Ketone Creation
The human body runs on glucose and there are two main furnaces that consume our glucose stores. The first is the body and the second is the brain. Surprisingly, the brain consumes over 80% of our fuel supply. This is why you can think yourself into exhaustion, working your brain will cause your body to manufacture as much glucose as possible to keep the brain in good supply. Our body structure is designed to create glucose from the carbohydrates that we consume. If we lower our carbohydrate consumption, then the body will eventually run out of that source and turn to our fuel reserves, the fat stored in the body. To consume the fat, the body creates something called ‘ketones’ which are fat transformed into a form that the glucose furnaces can use as fuel. A high protein diet promotes ketone creation which in turn allows for the faster consumption of fat stores which leads to weight loss.
Reason #2 – Protein helps endurance
One of the most popular myths about protein is that you need it for muscle growth. While you do need some protein for muscle growth, you don’t need that much and protein packing with shakes and bars isn’t going to turn you into Charles Atlas. What protein does help with is endurance. This can help you to keep going longer when you exercise and protein helps your muscles to pull in everything that they need for a good recovery. It is recommended that you have 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight that you have, not your target weight, but your current weight. Your protein needs will change as your work out, diet and redefine your weight index. Something to pay attention to is the type of protein you are consuming. It is not hard to add protein to your diet, but should you choose to use shakes, mixes or supplement bars – make sure the rest of the ingredients don’t undo the next main reason for why high protein diets work.
Reason #3 – Cleaner fuel
One of the hidden benefits of going on a high protein diet is it tends to remove refined and processed food from your diet. There are not that many high protein products, although there are more than there have been in the past, that would also qualify as “junk food.” When you adopt a high protein diet, you tend to also radically decrease foods that are high in sugars and empty calories. Protein is found in meats, fish, tofu, Seitan and many of the green vegetables; all food that is easier to buy and prepare than it is to purchase prepared. The added bonus is that because high protein diets tend to have more fresh meats and vegetables, they have less salts, sugars and preservatives which benefits blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Reason #4 – It’s easier to stick to a high protein diet
One of the reasons that high protein diets work better than others is that it is easier to stick to them. The types of foods emphasized in these diets are readily available, even on a fast food menu. There are no specialty stores or items needed to keep to a high protein diet. There is also much less special behavior to be learned and practiced as well. This ease in meeting your diet restrictions makes it easier to stick to the diet. Unlike other diets which may reduce your social activity because their restrictions may require you to bring your own meals to the table – high protein diets can be kept in any social circumstance without anyone around you knowing you are dieting.
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