If you’re looking for a diet that works, protein may just be the answer you’re looking for.

Protein makes up part of the structure of every cell in your body. On average, it comprises about 20% of your total body weight.

Protein is needed for the growth of new tissue, for tissue repair and for regulating many metabolic pathways, and can also be used as a source for energy production.

Most people are aware of the protein’s vital role in the building of muscle. Yet, recent research is revealing just how important a role protein plays in the loss of fat.

Keeping the Weight Off

The problem of post dieting weight regain is a major issue for people trying to lose fat and keep it off. A diet that works will not just allow you to lose weight, it will allow you to keep it off long-term. But not many succeed.

In fact, 90% of dieters regain the weight – and then some – within 12 months. A study out of Maastricht University Medical Centre showed that a diet high in protein is beneficial in maintaining post weight loss weight.

The high protein diet was more effective than a low protein or a high or low glycemic-index diet. The test involved subjects who had previously lost in excess of 20 pounds.

Benefits of High Protein

In order to determine the ideal amount of protein required for weight loss and maintenance, researchers from McMaster University in Canada conducted a meta-study in which they analysed the results of 74 studies.

They concluded that a diet that is high in protein had the following effects on the body:

  • Increased fat loss
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lowered body mass index
  • Lowered insulin and tryglyceride levels

The researchers did not find that increased protein intake affected blood sugar metabolism. One caution noted in the study was that gastrointestinal distress was common in people who maintain a high protein diet.

Their overall conclusion, however, was that a high protein diet will aid in both weight loss and weight maintenance. It will also have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors. The researchers gave high protein a plus in terms of being a diet that works!

High Protein Beats High Carb

Researchers in Australia focused on the effects of consumption of protein on night-time fat burning.

The study found that overweight people burned fat more efficiently after consuming a meal that was high in protein. Long-term weight loss was not measured, so the researchers could make no conclusions about the long term effects on weight loss. They did conclude that a high protein diet is a diet that works better at promoting fat loss than a high carbohydrate diet.

So, when you’re looking for a diet that really works, base it on lean proteins and you’ll not only lose the fat – you’ll keep it off.

References

International Journal of Obesity, published online March 28, 2014

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66: 780-788, 2012

Nutrition and Dietetics, 3: 246-252, 2008

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