Protein is a very important part of any healthy diet, with the National Academy of Medicine recommending that adults consume at least 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight each day. If you call the Deep South home, however, chances are you are already consuming a diet that is high in proteins such as chicken, shrimp, steak and pork. While you will undoubtedly benefit more from a diet that consists of healthy protein sources as well as ample amounts of fruit, vegetables and healthy grains, being fond of protein is definitely a good start. Apart from being undeniably delicious, following a protein-based diet can also be surprisingly beneficial.
Appetite and cravings are reduced
Of the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats and protein – the latter is without a doubt the most filling. The reason why you are likely to feel full faster when following a protein-based diet is due to the fact that protein reduces the level of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, in the body. The more protein you consume, the fewer overall calories you are likely to ingest on a daily basis. Research published by the National Institutes of Health has found that upping your daily protein intake from 15% to 30% can result in an average of 441 fewer calories consumed every day. When you reduce your calorie intake, losing weight will become increasingly easier. Increased protein consumption will also reduce the prevalence of the pesky cravings that tend to wreak havoc with a healthy diet.
Enjoy improved sleep
Getting sufficient sleep, as prescribed by the National Sleep Foundation, is of vital importance to a healthy body and mind. While protein is known to give you an energy boost, it can also improve your sleeping patterns substantially. A study conducted in 2016 and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects who consumed a protein-based diet typically have a better Global Sleep Score (GSS) than those who do not eat a lot of protein. If you want to enjoy the maximum benefit a protein-based diet can offer, ensure that your diet contains both essential and non-essential amino acids. These amino acids, which are known as the building blocks of protein, have been shown to improve sleep and mood even more. Apart from making you feel better, getting enough sleep can also boost your weight-loss efforts, as poor sleep has been proven to contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Protein helps fat burn faster
Following a protein-based diet can aid in building and maintaining lean muscle mass, while also helping to boost your metabolism. Eating, in general, is able to increase your metabolism for a short period of time. Not all foods, however, use the same amount of calories in order to be digested. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF), with protein sporting a much higher TEF than both carbs and fat. By simply upping your protein intake, you can burn up to 100 more calories every day without increasing your physical activity. Although you still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose optimum weight, having a boosted metabolism will definitely help your weight-loss efforts considerably.
There are numerous benefits to following a protein-based diet. Apart from getting the physique, you have always dreamed of, your overall health and well-being are also bound to improve significantly.