9 Benefits of a High Protein Diet
By: Stephanie Ruopp
At the beginning of each new year, television, radio, and social media are bombarded with ads for all sorts of diets to allegedly help you meet those often unreachable resolutions.
So we want to be clear that when we’re talking about the benefits of a high protein diet, we’re not talking about some new-fangled special diet that requires you to change your whole life. And ultimately fails you.
We’re actually encouraging you to look at your current protein intake and then perhaps add more to your already healthy diet. How come?
Here are nine great benefits to adopting a diet that is protein-rich:
1. Decreased Appetite
It’s easy to proclaim you’re going to lose weight and eat healthier in 2021. Such proclamations are usually made on a full stomach. But as soon as you feel hungry, you may be compelled to reach for the potato chips.
The problem is, fats, carbs, and proteins affect the body in different ways. So even if you reach for something healthier like a salad, it’s not going to curb your appetite for very long.
Add some chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or fish and it changes the game. Protein reduces the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin and leaves you feeling fuller for longer. The best part? You won’t need to eat as much to get that satisfied feeing.
So any time you can lessen a serving of a carb-rich of fattening food and replace it with a small serving of protein instead, do it!
Yep. It turns out that protein ALSO has a higher thermic effect than fats and carbs. This simply means that the way your body makes use of the nutrients and calories in protein is much more effective. And this, in turn means a boost to your metabolism and ability to burn calories.
3. Reduces Cravings
You’ve more than likely had a craving for sugar in the middle of the day, or perhaps a salty snack late at night. Cravings are deceptive though. They’re not hunger. More often than not, they are created by your brain wanting some sort of reward.
By increasing your protein intake to 25% of your calories, you’ll notice far fewer cravings. This is likely the result of improved function of the main brain hormones involved in such cravings.
4. Helps Maintain Weight Loss
Losing weight is one thing. Keeping it off is another. And it’s often far more challenging. But since a diet higher in protein boosts your metabolism and reduces cravings, keeping with such a diet will have better long term
So once you find the proper protein intake, consider sticking with it.
5. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
Thus far we’ve talked about a high protein diet in relation to losing weight. But there are other benefits as well.
If you consider that protein is the building block of your muscles, then it only makes sense that you must consume protein to maintain muscle growth. This is especially important if you are physically active and engaging in exercises that work to actively gain muscle.
6. Encourages Stronger Bones
Wait. Protein has benefits for bone health too?
Yes, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. And too much animal protein can increase acid load in the body. The body may then respond by leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize those acid levels.
Even so, the vast majority of long-term studies show that protein is beneficial for bone health. With the optimal protein intake, bone mass is better maintained and there is less risk of fractures or osteoporosis.
Since women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis after menopause, it’s doubly important they get the proper amount of protein and stay active to stave off this condition.
7. Results in Lower Blood Pressure
There are many ways to lower one’s blood pressure. And while medication can be effective, there’s a fair body of research that suggest higher protein intake can also contribute.
So if you have a history of high blood pressure, consider adding more protein to your diet. It’s obviously not a fix-all solution. But lowering your blood pressure by even just a few points could end up lowering your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or even chronic kidney disease.
8. Helps Your Body Repair Itself After Injury
Any sort of physical activity can result in a strain or injury. Even if you’re involved in a mindful practice such as yoga or Pilates where, if done correctly, there’s a strict focus on alignment.
Whatever the case, eating protein after sustaining even a mild injury can help speed up your healing. And why wouldn’t it? Protein is the main building block for your organs, tissues, and, as we mentioned above, your muscles.
9. Enables You to Remain Physically Active
If you’ve always been physically active, but are now of a certain age, you recognize all too well the challenges that come with growing older.
One such consequence is how the muscles gradually weaken over time. And if we stop moving as we age, it can lead to age-related sarcopenia which leads to fractures and frailty among older adults.
So keep those muscles fortified throughout your life with a diet that’s high in protein. Because staying active is crucial as you enter your golden years. And beyond.
Interested In the Benefits of a High Protein Diet?
It’s clear that there are many benefits of a high protein diet. But how do you go about incorporating more protein in your diet?
We’re here to help.
Along with keeping your body safely active and in movement through Pilates and GYROTONIC, we now offer personal nutritionist services!
So contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of adding more protein to your diet to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.