One of the best tried and true ways to lose weight is with a low-calorie, high-protein diet. Weight gain results from consuming more calories than you burn. Lowering the caloric intake will result in weight loss. This formula is simple, but where it gets complicated is in what you choose to eat. Eating a single Big Mac a day will most likely result in weight loss, but you sure aren’t going to feel good. Sticking to a healthy, high-protein diet will help you feel satiated. The nutrients your body needs to function are much easier to find when you have a high-protein, low-calorie diet as opposed to a carb-heavy meal plan. How do you know what to eat on this diet? Our dietitians are here to help!
Importance of Proper Protein Intake
Regardless of what your fitness level is, incorporating the correct amount of protein into your diet is a necessity for healthy living. Protein is the compound responsible for repairing and building tissues at the molecular level. Your body uses protein to grow hair, strengthen fingernails, and reinforce your bones. A ‘high-protein diet’ is one where your body takes in at least the recommended amount of 0.36 grams of protein from external food sources per pound of body weight. Note that this is a lifestyle and not a traditional diet! Taking in the correct amount of protein is a way to keep your body working like a well-oiled machine. It’s not a ‘quick fix’ diet, and it’s not reasonable for everyone. It can be harmful if you’re in the minority of people with metabolic disorders, so make sure to consult with a weight loss expert before making any drastic changes
Pros and Cons of a High Protein, Low-Calorie Diet
The most common high protein, a low-calorie diet, is the keto diet. A keto diet is where the body eats so few carbs and consumes a high protein diet. You do not need to go full keto, to benefit from a high protein diet. Protein is the building block for a healthy muscular structure, so a diet rich in it will help your body maintain lean muscle. While this is something every healthy living enthusiast will want, eating a lot of protein can have some drawbacks. The biggest drawback happens when protein and calories aren’t exclusive. Sticking to high-protein foods can bring up your overall caloric intake. You may sacrifice calories elsewhere, which unbalances your nutritional content. It’s rare, but cutting out other food instead of protein could lead to a vitamin deficiency. High protein diets are also known to cause constipation. It’s not a problem that happens to everybody, but make sure to run it by your doctor if you notice any issues!
High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods To Eat
Some of the best high-protein, low-calorie foods out there are staples you already have in your pantry! Includes the following:
- Lentils: a superfood with a dense, complex nutritional profile that boasts 116 calories and 9 grams
- Greek Yogurt: a satisfying snack with about 100 calories per serving with 17 grams of protein
- Pumpkin Seeds: great, for fall, pumpkin seeds clock in at 9 grams of protein and 160 calories
- Tuna In Water: it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but tuna is hard to beat when it comes to protein. There are only 128 calories with 27 grams of protein in a can!
- Eggs: protein becomes affordable with the humble egg. There are less than 80 calories and 6 grams of protein per egg.
- Turkey Breast: a frequent deli favorite, turkey breast comes in at 26 grams of protein and 125 calories
Make Your Diet Your Lifestyle
A person who sticks to a high-protein, a low-calorie diet is relatively easy. There’s a lot of flexibility with what you can eat – the above options are just a drop in the bucket! You can easily find nutritious meal replacements that taste good and fit within your calorie needs when you’re on a high-protein diet. Being consistently on this diet also helps with your fitness goals; working out is a lot easier when you feel energized from proper nutrition. As with any new lifestyle change, please consult with a medical weight loss expert before diving in!
For more common weight loss and other related tips, please contact Advanced Medical Weight Loss.