High-Protein Diet to Help Lose Belly Fat
Do you think that dieting necessarily involves seven circles of hell with starvation for weeks on end? Then you haven't heard of the protein diet. Here you have to eat often and quite nourishingly while losing extra weight. But let's go over everything in order.
Protein is an essential micronutrient to keep all body functions functioning correctly. Therefore, a high-protein diet is trendy for improving health. It also has some benefits for weight loss, which we will talk about in this article.
Why do we need proteins, and why is it important?
Protein is one of the primary macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats. It makes up muscles, tissues, internal organs, blood cells, immune bodies, hair, nails, skin cells, and proteins. It performs some vital functions in our bodies that no other element can take over. Here are the main ones:
Structural. Protein is the basis for building the body. It is a significant component of our muscles, bones, skin, and hair. These tissues are constantly being renewed and replaced with new protein.
Enzyme and metabolism. Most enzymes and hormones are pure protein or a protein compound with other substances (metal ions, fats, vitamins). Thousands of chemical reactions that occur throughout the body come from them.
Transport. Proteins carry essential elements - ions, molecules, nutrients, and other substances - to and from cells and organs. For example, hemoglobin protein transports oxygen to the cells of our body. In addition, messenger proteins play an essential role in transmitting signals in the body, allowing cells to communicate information to each other.
Proteins are also crucial for normal immune responses; they protect our bodies from infections because antibodies and mucosal defense proteins are protein molecules.
In addition, proteins support our youth and beauty - and this is due to the timely renewal of collagen and elastin molecules, which do not allow our skin to dehydrate, age, and prevent the formation of wrinkles.
Where to get protein?
Protein consists of small individual "building blocks" - amino acids. Of the 22 existing amino acids, nine are considered "indispensable," which means that they must be obtained outside the body because it cannot produce them independently.
Animal products are considered "complete protein" because they contain all essential amino acids in optimal amounts that our bodies need. These include eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, and poultry.
Plant proteins do not provide the body with sufficient amounts of every essential amino acid, but they can be combined with other plant sources to provide complete protein. Beans, legumes, grains, soybeans, nuts, and seeds are examples of plant foods high in protein.
Although protein quality is essential, the amount we consume is the critical factor. Certain types of metabolism can suffer when there is a lack of protein, especially noticeable on restrictive low-protein diets.
Essential foods rich in protein
As you may have guessed by now, you should be loading up on foods high in protein. The supply of this helpful micronutrient is necessary for the normal development of all body systems and weight loss. And to make it easier for you to navigate in coming up with dishes for a protein diet, take note of the list below:
- chicken breast
- lean beef
- turkey breast
- milk (vegetable milk can be used, for example, soy milk)
- cottage cheese
- greek yogurt
- fish (any kind, especially tuna)
- brussels sprouts
- pulses (especially lentils and tofu)
- nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
The effect of protein on weight loss
According to numerous studies, high-protein diets can significantly positively affect hunger control, metabolic acceleration, weight, and body composition. The ability of high-protein diets to reduce hunger, increase satiety, speed up metabolism and protect muscles makes them practical for weight loss and improving body composition.
Consuming more protein perfectly satiates the body and suppresses feelings of hunger for at least a few hours, which leads to a natural decrease in food intake. It increases the production of hormones that help us feel satisfied. It also lowers ghrelin, also known as the "hunger hormone.
Protein helps increase your metabolism. The body spends much more time and energy digesting protein food than the same process for easily digestible carbohydrates and fats. The metabolic rate of protein digestion is 20-35% more efficient than 5-15% for fats and carbohydrates. Therefore, high protein intake leads to rapid calorie burning.
Because protein's ability to fool the appetite leads to long-lasting satiety and good metabolic function, this trace element helps weight loss. It also affects our body quality because when we reduce our caloric intake, our metabolism slows down. This is partly due to the loss of muscle mass. Nevertheless, enough protein in the body can protect against muscle loss and increase metabolic rate.
We advise you to read a structured, detailed review of the weight loss program: The 14-Day Soup Diet.
Features of the protein diet
The protein diet has many positive points, but there are also disadvantages, as with any such method of express weight loss. The advantages are that it is effective and not hungry - you can lose from 2 to 5 kg in 7 days, depending on the initial weight, of the disadvantages - unbalanced. So, such a diet cannot be followed for more than 14 days not to harm your health. However, if you follow the rules and stick to the menu, there will be no harm.
Protein diet: duration
You can sit on a protein diet for no more than 14 days (ideally 7-10) to not overload the liver. After that, you should take a break for at least four months. It is quite possible that to gain the desired weight, you will be enough to resort to this diet plan once.
After dieting, it is essential to get out of it correctly so that you don't "pick up" everything you've lost. It is necessary to exclude from your diet simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats: oil-fried food, baked goods, chocolate, and confectionery products containing saturated fats and sugar. Cook food with the addition of olive, sesame, or coconut oil, which are full of vitamins and help to watch your figure.
If you've decided to try how a protein diet works, this sample meal plan will help you with your daily diet.
- Breakfast: 150 grams of low-fat cottage cheese or brown rice with vegetables, chicken, tea, or coffee.
- Snack: 1 apple.
- Lunch: 150 grams of boiled chicken breast or vegetable broth, one slice of whole-grain bread.
- Afternoon snack: 100 grams of Greek yogurt.
- Dinner: 200 grams of steamed fish or poultry, vegetable salad.
- Breakfast: 150 grams of unsweetened yogurt or an omelet with chicken, tea, or coffee.
- Snack: one orange or two unsweetened cheesecakes.
- Lunch: 150 grams of beef or turkey, stewed vegetables.
- Afternoon snack: a glass of kefir or yogurt without additives.
- Dinner: 200 g of baked fish or lamb, 100 g of fresh vegetables.
- Breakfast: 3 egg whites or 150 grams of cottage cheese, coffee, or tea.
- Snack: 1 fruit, except banana.
- Lunch: 200 g turkey, 4-6 tbsp. boiled brown rice or meat soup.
- Afternoon snack: unsweetened cottage cheese or an apple.
- Dinner: 150g of beef, 100g of coleslaw.
- Breakfast: a glass of kefir and two oatmeal cookies or buckwheat with milk.
- Snack: one grapefruit.
- Lunch: 200 g chicken fillet, 200 g grilled asparagus.
- Afternoon snack: a glass of ryazhenka.
- Dinner: 200 g of boiled fish, 150 g of fresh or steamed vegetables.
- Breakfast: 150g of boiled chicken and a salad of cabbage and cucumber. Second option: 150 g of cottage cheese, coffee, or tea.
- Snack: 1 apple and one orange
- Lunch: 200 grams of steamed fish or vegetable soup, one slice of whole-grain bread.
- Afternoon snack: 100 grams of natural yogurt.
- Dinner: 200 g of beef, 150 g of vegetable salad.
- Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, tea, or coffee.
- Snack: any citrus fruit.
- Lunch: veal or chicken steak and 100 grams of vegetables or vinaigrette.
- Afternoon snack: a glass of kefir or cottage cheese soufflé.
- Dinner: 150g of baked fish, 100g of salad.
- Breakfast: 150 grams of cottage cheese or baked salmon steak with salad, tea, or coffee.
- Snack: 1 apple.
- Lunch: vegetable soup cooked in thin meat broth, 100g of boiled beef, one slice of whole-wheat bread.
- Afternoon snack: 1 cottage cheese with no additives.
- Dinner: 100 grams of poultry, 100 grams of vegetable salad.
It would be best if you ate 4-6 times a day on a protein diet, the first meal 30 minutes after rising, and dinner no later than 3 hours before bedtime. You should drink at least 1.5 liters of clean water per day.