Eat A High-Protein Diet To Lose Fat Without Feeling Hungry

Eat A High-Protein Diet To Lose Fat Without Feeling Hungry

Try eating a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet to lose fat without feeling hungry or suffering food cravings.

High-protein, low-carb diets tend to be more effective than energy-restricted low-fat diets for fat loss and weight maintenance because they allow people to maintain muscle mass and improve metabolic hormone balance. The key to make a high-protein diet work is to do it right and make it fit your unique genes and needs.

For example, a recent review of high-protein diets compared to low-fat diets showed that high-protein eating produced an average 6.3 kg of weight loss compared to 5 kg in all low-fat diet studies. People on high-protein diets lost between 1.2kg and 3.7 kg more weight than those on low-fat diets, across all comparison studies.

Research shows there are three main reasons that high-protein, low-carb can be helpful if you want to live a lean lifestyle. First, protein is very satiating, and when people eat a greater percentage of their diet from protein, they are less hungry and eat less calories overall.

For instance, one research group found that for every 1 percent increase in protein intake, people naturally decrease calorie intake by between 32 and 51 calories daily.

Second, protein helps manage blood sugar and insulin, whereas there is considerable evidence that high-carb, low-fat diets that are high in refined carbs and processed foods promote insulin resistance and have been shown to worsen type II diabetes.

Research shows that when people eat a higher protein diet, and specifically avoid grains, sugar, and processed foods, they will spontaneously experience fewer food cravings. The mechanism behind fewer cravings for sweets, bread, pasta, and the like is thought to be the more moderate, steady insulin and blood sugar levels.

Third, the resting energy expenditure—the amount of calories the body burns at rest—is greater after you eat protein than carbs. Plus, one study showed that when subjects ate animal protein (meat) they had an increase in energy expenditure of 17 percent more than the people who ate vegetable protein (beans and plant sources).

For best fat loss results with a high-protein diet, use the following suggestions:

  • Match your carb intake to your activity level and body composition goals. If you’re sedentary and overweight, shoot for less than 50 grams of carbs from vegetables and low-carb fruit. If you’re active and just want to lean up, anywhere from 100 to 200 grams of carbs a day may be more effective.
  • Avoid refined grains and processed or packaged foods. Round out the diet with animal protein, eggs, seeds, nuts, and “smart” fats.
  • A macronutrient breakdown in the range of 35 percent fat, 35 percent carbohydrates, and 30 percent protein has been suggested by food scientists. These ratios can be adjusted according to how you feel and individual genetic differences—for instance, if you’re overweight and sedentary and your goal is a ketogenic diet, increase the fat percentage (choose beneficial fat sources) and decrease carb intake by as much 20 percent.
  • Focus on getting enough fiber. This is EXTREMELY important because one negative effect of decreasing carb intake is less fiber intake. Shoot for at least 25 grams a day—35 grams is better and has been shown to induce even greater fat loss. Get this fiber from veggies, fruit, beans, and nuts.
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