Can Protein Powder Help You
Trim Your Waist?
Protein is all the rage in the diet world from Atkins to South Beach to the Paleolithic diet. What’s with all the meat loving? More importantly, can protein be the secret to slimming down and losing your belly fat forever? Protein is an essential nutrient in the human diet. It contains important amino acids that the body requires to rebuild and repair itself from the wear and tear of everyday living. Muscles, organs and even hormones are made up of protein.
This nutritent can be found in meats (beef, chicken, fish, etc.) vegetables, eggs, dairy products and nuts.
Most nutritional guidelines recommend that a healthy adult consume 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight, making up between 15-25% of daily food intake. There is still significant debate among researchers about how much protein a person should get in their daily diet, but fads never wait on scientific consensus. Many popular diets laud protein as the key to health and fitness.
Protein and Weight Loss
Several popular diets, such as Atkins, South Beach and the Paleolithic Diet, propose that carbohydrates (such as bread, rice and pastas) cause weight gain and are unhealthy for the body. These diets recommend the consumption of high amounts of protein.
Initial scientific studies show that adherents to high protein diets do lose weight. Buyer beware: these same studies found that most of the weight lost on these diets was eventually regained. Eating a strictly protein diet is difficult to maintain. Often, dieters lapse, and the weight comes back on.
Nutritional researchers continue to puzzle out the secrets of protein and its weight-loss properties. Their discoveries have shown that protein moves more slowly through the digestive tract, helping to maintain a feeling of fullness longer. It also does not cause heavy spikes and drops in blood sugar that can lead to tiredness and food cravings.
Protein and Health
For a long time it was believed that a high-protein diet was bad for health, especially the heart. Current research has refuted this idea, finding that lean protein does not cause heart disease.
Not all protein is the same. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey and fish can provide a high level of protein without adding a heavy dose of unhealthy saturated fat as found in beef and bacon. To help burn off that belly fat, stick with lean meats, vegetables, eggs, dairy and small servings of nuts.
Substitute these good proteins in place of high-glycemic carbohydrates like white bread or white rice to keep your blood sugar even-keeled and your appetite in check. However, don’t forget about the rest of the food pyramid. Proteins are a big part of a healthy diet, but so are fruits and carbohydrates. Restricting carbs too much can lead to deficiencies in fiber, nutrients and vitamins.
Keep your plate diverse and colorful, and your belly fat will disappear before your eyes.