High Protein Diets – How To Lose Weight Fast
Over the last 10 or so years there has been an increase in the popularity of high protein diets, this is because celebrities seem to have embraced the idea. As we all know, monkey sees, monkey does. The increase in popularity of high protein diets seems to have come also from the increase in popularity of the Atkins diet – which focuses mainly on high protein foods. In this article, I will cover whether there are any dangers associated with the use of high protein diets – whether you should bother or whether they are a waste of time in the first place.
The first thing that you must remember is that only 15% of your diet must consist of protein, yep, that is correct only 15%. That is the amount that is recommended by most health care professionals.
Any more and you suffer the risks associated with excessive protein consumption. Carrying on from this, the high protein diets recommend that 30% – 50% of your daily intake of calories is to consist of protein, is there a problem with this? The short answer is no, eating 30-50% of protein will not have any serious problems for your health.
The issue arises when you choose the protein-rich foods that you are eating. Most foods that are high protein are also high in saturated fat which is extremely bad for your health, only around 3% of your diet should consist of saturated fat – the rest should be made up of carbohydrates at around 60% and poly and monounsaturated at around 27%.
By eating so much protein, you are in effect raising the amount of saturated fat that you are eating each and every day. This means that you have the potential to increase your body’s consumption of fat causing all sorts of problems for your health – the dangers of which are well documented.
That being said, the number problem associated with the use of high protein diets is the risk of increasing your daily intake of saturated fat – if you can avoid eating too much saturated fat – then you will help your body, although it can be hard to find a high protein diet that does not require a large intake of saturated fat.
The next issue is that of carbohydrates, as I have already mentioned approximately 60% of your diet is to be made up of carbohydrates, this means that you are eating a diet that is high in protein, you are in effect minimizing the number of carbohydrates that you are consuming in a usual day. The end result of this process is that you will effectively have bowel movement problems, leading you to feel like you are sluggish and need sleep. Being on a diet that restricts your intake of carbohydrates is no fun at all – trust me on that.
So far in this article, we have covered the two most important points that are associated with the use of high protein diets, namely the fact that they require you to eat an increase in saturated fat and the other being that they limited the number of carbohydrates that you can consume in a day. With that being said, before you try a high protein diet, I first recommend that you start a regular diet which focuses on healthy eating and regular exercise – if you do that, you will certainly reach your goals.
How To Lose Weight With High Protein Diets
During digestion, proteins consumed in the diet are broken down by the mechanical process of chewing. Once the food is swallowed and reaches the stomach and intestines, enzymes known as proteases go to work on proteins to further reduce them into microscopic particles of protein or peptides, as well as individual amino acids.
Amino acids and small peptides are absorbed into the bloodstream directly through the intestinal walls. Once they enter the general circulation, these tiny bits of protein are typically captured by cells of different tissues and used in the construction of new protein chains.
However, during times of intense physical activity, like a physique-firming exercise routine, blood-born amino acids are grabbed up by the liver, where they are stripped of their nitrogen component (a process known as deamination) and chemically converted to glucose (a form of carbohydrate) for energy.
In other words, the fate of amino acids is determined by the body’s needs. When caloric intake is ample, ingested protein is earmarked for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues like skin and muscle. On the other hand, when caloric intake falls short of the body’s requirements, amino acids can also be used as a calorie-generating energy source. Because amino acids are the building blocks of your soon-to-be firm physique, the fate of the protein you eat has far-reaching implications in terms of body composition.
Optimal muscle toning – which, as you now know, contributes to maximal fat burning – requires a steady supply of amino acids. When caloric restriction necessitates the diversion of amino acids for glucose production, your muscles get shortchanged. By depriving your muscles of the basic materials needed for growth and repair, you not only prevent them from reaching their full, firm potential, you also prevent optimal fat burning.
Even if your diet includes sufficient calories to fulfill your body’s energy requirements, without adequate dietary protein and a steady supply of essential amino acids, muscle tissue suffers. Remember, virtually every tissue in the human body relies on amino acid building blocks for growth and repair.
In addition, there are numerous other nitrogen-containing compounds essential to human life including DNA, RNA, hormones, pigments like melanin, and heme, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells.
As you may already know, your body perceives nutritional deficiencies as a threat to your life-sustaining homeostasis; every system in your body will do whatever is necessary to avert the threat to your physiological equilibrium. As far as your body is concerned, the manufacture of vital hormones and blood components is more important than toning your muscles.
When dietary protein is lacking, your body will cannibalize its own muscle tissue to create a steady supply of amino acids for the maintenance of internal organs and the manufacture of vital compounds.
Your body is more than happy to sacrifice your firm physique in order to stay alive. However, from the standpoint of a revved metabolism and increased fat burning, muscle breakdown is the kiss of death!
Which brings me to a concept called simultaneous muscle toning and fat burning. I realize the whole idea seems counterintuitive. After all, it takes an excess of calories and amino acid building blocks to tone muscle and a shortage of calories to shed fat. How is it possible to have both processes occurring simultaneously?
The key to this physiological paradox lies in the type of caloric surplus you create. In essence, you can still induce a fat-burning energy deficit even if your diet includes a protein surplus.
In times of energy restriction, your body will liberate stored fat as a source of needed calories. True, your body will also sacrifice some muscle tissue to generate calories. However, provided there is an adequate surplus of protein in your diet, your body is actually able to build new muscle tissue faster than it gets torn down. Hence your body is capable of adding to your existing muscle mass while you shed your existing fat mass.
Wait a minute: Protein contains four calories per gram. If it takes an excess of protein to support muscle development, how is it possible to create an energy deficit with a surplus of dietary protein? What happens to the “extra calories” from increased protein intake? Can “too much” protein make you fat?
First, protein digestion requires significant energy expenditure in and of itself. The consumption of a high protein meal measurably raises your body temperature and metabolic rate, a process known as thermogenesis. And second, in order for ingested protein to be stored as fat, it must first be converted to glucose, a process that requires high levels of the hormone glucagon relative to the hormone insulin. This hormonal ratio only occurs when an individual is in the “starved” state, i.e., they have not eaten for at least four or five hours.
In order for your body to then convert the glucose to fat, high levels of insulin relative to glucagon must be present. This hormonal ratio only occurs when an individual is in the fed state. Because it is virtually impossible for these hormonal situations to co-exist, it is virtually impossible for your body to store excess protein calories as fat!
This is the single most important governing principle behind the initial success of every high-protein diet, program, and product in existence. Notice I said “initial.” The long-term viability of an eating plan, i.e., whether or not you can tolerate it over time, whether or not it will continue to produce the desired effects, and whether or not it is ultimately a healthy diet, depends largely on the two remaining macronutrients, fat, and carbohydrate.
The Fat Burning Essentials:
Protein, which consists of long chains of amino acid subunits, is the main building block of virtually every tissue in our bodies, including muscle.
If dietary protein is lacking, your body will cannibalize its own muscle tissue to create a steady supply of amino acids for the maintenance of internal organs and the manufacture of vital compounds.
From the standpoint of a revved metabolism and decreased body fat, muscle breakdown is the kiss of death!
While it is possible to add muscle while you burn fat, it is virtually impossible for your body to store excess protein calories as fat.