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Certain weight loss diets, such as Atkins, emphasize increased protein consumption while reducing carbohydrates. One recent commercial in America depicts a woman describing her meal from the previous evening: “I had beef. With a side of beef.” Diets like this don’t offer the variety of choices that we normally enjoy, and they cause concern over kidney and liver damage.
High protein diets are effective ways of building lean body mass. It’s been a reliable technique for athletes. For people seeking to lose weight, these diets will increase your resting metabolic rate as the muscular-skeletal tissue increases. In other words, you’ll gain muscle tissue while your body burns fat.
It’s a great concept, but how do we do it without damaging our kidneys and liver? The key is in choosing the best sources of protein possible. Red meat is high in protein, but is difficult for our bodies to break down, requiring extra effort from our liver and kidneys, in addition to being a source of unhealthy cholesterol.
For dieters, the best sources of protein are soy and whey. They are heart healthy foods that are very versatile. Soy protein is absorbed slowly, making you feel full until your next meal. Whey protein is absorbed faster, which sends signals to your brain, notifying it that your body’s hunger has been satisfied. The combination of these two protein sources will control your cravings while reducing your overall food intake.
A protein powder that is made with a blend of soy and whey protein is a useful ingredient for the dieter. One can sneak extra protein into favorite dishes by adding it to pasta dishes, using it to thicken sauces, sprinkling it on vegetables, and baking with it. Find shake mixes, sports drink mixes, and meat substitutes that have been made with a blend of soy and whey protein.
The next consideration for the high protein dieter is the rate at which you consume the protein. If a dieter has a target protein consumption of 100 grams, his body needs time to process and absorb that much protein. If this dieter skips breakfast, his liver and kidneys will have to work harder to filter the 100 grams of protein he crams in during the last half of the day.
If you need to lose weight, consume 3 healthy, high protein meals in addition to 2 healthy snacks. Your body can absorb 30 grams of protein every 3 to 4 hours, so adjust your meal plans and protein consumption accordingly.
Here are some additional ideas for an effective high protein diet:
Take a multi-vitamin while you are dieting. You don’t want your body to experience malnutrition while you are on a controlled or restricted diet.
Drink 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. This is especially important for higher protein consumption, as it will improve the performance your liver and kidneys.
Consider an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement. Obesity is an inflammatory disease, and the omega 3 fatty acids help control cellular inflammation.
Also, consider taking an amino acid supplement, which helps break down proteins, making them easier for your body to absorb, while reducing the burden on your liver and kidneys.
Once you’ve achieved your weight loss goal, you can reduce your daily protein consumption to 60 to 80 grams, which is the recommended amount to maintain lean body mass. The guidance of a health or wellness professional should be used when determining the protein targets for your body. Many people need guidance that goes beyond FDA nutrition charts. An individual’s eating habits, trigger foods, medical history, and body shape are important factors to consider when revising a diet plan.