High Protein Diet: Miracle Health and Weight Loss Secrets of Protein

You’ve fought a losing battle with your weight for so long that the dieting roller coaster is making you dizzy. You’ve tried high-carb diets and Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem and starvation diets, and the Grapefruit Diet. Everything you tried failed to work. But have you tried a high-protein diet?high protein diet

If you have never tried a heavy protein diet, it may be because of all the myths and untruths that have swirled around high protein consumption for the past few decades. And that’s what they are — myths and untruths. The truth is a high-protein diet provides many health benefits, and it also supercharges weight loss.

Here is everything you need to know about a high-protein diet and how it can help you win the weight loss war.

High protein diet for a high-protein body

Proteins are long-chain amino acids that are essential for building and repairing the body. Twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein. The human body has about 100,000 different types of protein, some of it present in varying amounts in your hair, skin, muscles, bones, organs, nails, and certain hormones. Protein is needed to grow, heal, and perform almost every chemical reaction in the body.

Twenty-one amino acids can form protein in the human body, and they are found in various foods. Some of these amino acids are nonessential, meaning your body can make them on its own. Others are essential amino acids, meaning your body cannot make them, and you must obtain them from your diet.

Though amino acids are present in vegetables, the highest sources are those in animal products, such as meats, fish, dairy, and eggs. Because each protein source has different amino acids, it is important to eat a variety of protein foods. If you do not eat a range of proteins, you risk a deficiency of certain amino acids, called a protein deficiency.

Symptoms of a protein deficiency

Though a true protein deficiency is rare in the U.S. and other developed countries, that doesn’t mean that people are consuming enough of the right types of protein. In fact, many people are deficient in certain amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Here are some symptoms that could occur from a low intake of certain amino acids or proteins.

  • Slow metabolism
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Low energy
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Bone fractures
  • Trouble sleeping

3 health benefits of a high-protein meal

Estimates suggest the average American’s diet is composed of 12% to 16% protein. By contrast, a high-protein diet contains  20% protein, and a very high-protein diet contains 30% protein.

Below are three clinically proven health benefits of a high-protein diet.

1. Increases Muscle Mass

The body is in a constant state of muscle loss and gain. Eating a high-protein diet helps build muscle and prevent muscle loss. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle, so it’s not surprising that many studies have shown an adequate intake of protein is necessary for building and maintaining muscle mass.

Eating protein triggers protein muscle synthesis, a naturally occurring metabolic process that breaks amino acids down and uses them to repair and build muscle tissue.  Protein also prevents a breakdown of muscle for several hours after consumption, ensuring lean muscle mass.

It is also essential to eat a high-protein diet when you’re losing weight to prevent muscle loss.

2. Helps Maintain Strong Bones

Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, a disease characterized by weak and brittle bones. Another 44 million Americans have low bone density, which increases their risk of this disease. Though calcium has the reputation for building strong bones and teeth, protein delivers. Several studies have shown a higher protein intake strengthens bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

The reason? A high-protein diet increases the strength of the hormone IGF-1, which regulates bone metabolism. The consumption of more protein also has an indirect effect on the bones. Boosting one’s protein intake leads to increased muscle mass, which contributes to stronger bones.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force of blood against the arterial walls is consistently elevated, making the heart work more strenuously to pump enough blood. It’s a common condition affecting an estimated 103 million U.S. adults.  High blood pressure is a serious condition that significantly increases the risk of  heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Surprisingly, a high-protein diet might help.

Several studies have shown a high-protein diet lowers blood pressure. One such study showed it lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 1.76 11Hg, and diastolic blood pressure by 1.15 mmHg, though researchers noted a need for further investigation.

Studies also show a higher intake of lean animal protein reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis while not impairing kidney function.

Weight loss benefits of a high-protein diet

A high-protein diet also has many weight loss benefits.  Here are just a few of them.

Less hunger

Research shows a heavy protein diet is filling, with a lot less hunger than other diets. This is because protein consumption sends signals to the short- and long-term satiety hormones, so your meal fills you up fast and keeps you full longer. When you’re full, you’re less likely to gorge on starchy carbs and other inSANE foods, so you’ll automatically consume fewer calories.

In a University of Washington Study, participants ate an unlimited amount of food while researchers increased the portion of protein in their meals from 15% to 30%. They unconsciously ate 441 fewer calories per day without feeling hungry.

Increases metabolism

A heavy protein diet increases metabolism in two ways.

Protein goes through such a difficult metabolic process that it takes more calories to digest protein than either of the other two macronutrients — fats and carbohydrates. This means your metabolism significantly revs up to digest protein, thus increasing your metabolism.

A protein diet also triggers something called “protein muscle synthesis,” which builds and repairs muscle. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps blood glucose enter your cells to be used for energy. It also helps control glucose levels, making it a fat-storage hormone, as well.

Insulin is released by the pancreas when you consume carbohydrates. Refined carbs, such as donuts or pasta, are converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream quickly because there is no fiber to slow it down. Because insulin must clear excess glucose from the bloodstream quickly, it sends most of it to the fat cells.  This can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues.

A high-protein diet does not significantly affect blood sugar levels. In fact, research shows eating protein can even slow down the absorption of sugar from other foods in the meal.

High protein meal controversies

No article on a high-protein diet would be complete without discussing some of the controversies about heavy protein consumption.

Too much protein harms the kidneys.

This is 100% false. In fact, hundreds of studies show that a high-protein diet is good for health and does not harm the kidneys.

Where did the myth that too much protein harms the kidneys come from? It seems it came from studies in which animals were fed extreme amounts of low-quality proteins. When they started having health problems — including problems with the kidneys — a myth was born that persists to this day.

Just remember all of the other studies showing a high protein diet is good for you and your weight loss goals, and you’ll be fine.

Protein causes cancer

False! This is an example of a misunderstanding that is just ridiculous. Since high-quality protein promotes the repair and growth of all cells — even cancer cells — a rumor or myth or just plain lie started going around that protein causes cancer.

No, protein does NOT cause cancer. If you already have cancer and consume excessive protein…then yes, protein will make those cancer cells grow. But eating a high-protein diet will not give you cancer.

Protein causes osteoporosis

False! This myth almost certainly arose because of the fact that the digestion of protein requires more calcium than the digestion of fat or carbohydrates. Some people think this means protein will suck the calcium from your bones.

There could be some truth to this, but only if you consume extremely massive amounts of protein. If you adopted a SANE high protein diet in which you ate at least 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day, however, there would be no need for protein to take calcium from your bones. Green leafy vegetables, it might surprise you to know, contain high amounts of calcium.

But this might not matter because while protein may increase your need for calcium, it also increases your ability to absorb calcium. Your body, then, actually makes better use of calcium when you consume more protein.

High-protein meals: Is there a vegan or vegetarian option?

As previously stated, amino acids are present in vegetables, but the highest sources are those in animal products.

high-protein-dietIf you’re a vegetarian, seafood is your best heavy protein option. It’s a little more tricky if you’re a vegan, however, as the protein in plants tends not to be as bioavailable or complete as that from animal sources. To obtain your protein, then, you might want to add protein powders made from rice, hemp, or pea to your diet.

Vegans and vegetarians should also take a branched-chain amino acid supplement to provide the amino acids a plant-based diet lacks. They should also take a vitamin B12 supplement, as vitamin B12 is found only in animal products.

5 high protein foods to include in your meal

Here are 5 high-protein foods you’ll want to include often in your diet.

1. Wild-caught salmon

Wild-caught salmon is something you’ll want to make a regular part of your high-protein diet. A 3.5-ounce serving of King salmon provides 26 grams of protein and 1700 mg of omega 3. (Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and provide many other health benefits.) It is also loaded with vitamins and minerals.

2. Grass-fed beef

Grass-fed beef supplies nearly 50% the RDA of protein, and it is also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. The combination of its protein and healthy fat content has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar levels.

3. Nonfat Greek yogurt

Nonfat Greek yogurt contains 67% protein, making it a metabolism-boosting option for your high-protein diet. It is also loaded with essential nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a tasty, health-promoting addition to any meal. Small curd cottage cheese contains 25 grams of protein per one-cup serving. It is also rich in several important vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin, vitamin B-12, and niacin.

5. Organic chicken

Chicken is a versatile food that you can add to any meal. It is also a high protein source, supplying over 30% of the RDA for protein. Chicken is also a great source of B vitamins, which are important for heart and brain health.

A SANE high-protein diet

On the SANE eating plan, you will enjoy 30-55 grams of nutrient-dense protein per meal. Keep in mind that not all proteins are created equal. Just because a food contains some protein does not make it a good protein source.

Nutrient-dense protein is a concentrated source of protein, meaning that more calories in that food come from protein than from fat or carbohydrates and that the protein can readily be used by the body.

Here is just an example of nutrient-dense proteins you will enjoy when you go SANE:

  • Salmon
  • Egg whites
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Chicken
  • Lean meats
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese

When you combine nutrient-dense protein with SANE non-starchy veggies, whole-food fats, and low-fructose fruits, your weight loss battles will be over.

Next step: Start your high-protein diet with SANE

Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?

Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism burn fat, and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?

Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet, and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by  .

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your FREE Weight Loss Recipes, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Recipes, the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE TO GET FREE WEIGHT LOSS RECIPES & GUIDES