How to Create a Healthy High-Protein Diet
Adding a well-designed exercise program that involves resistance training or weight lifting helps maximize weight loss and the building of muscle. Creating a high-protein diet plan isn't difficult and gives you plenty of choices at the dinner table. Whenever you are considering significant changes to your diet, consult a medical professional first.
Principles for a High-Protein Diet
If you focus on high-fiber and protein-rich foods, you can boost your metabolism and build muscle. This occurs in part because protein is more difficult to metabolize than carbohydrates, meaning that even the digestion of protein burns calories. Also, studies show that dieters following a high-protein regimen tend to eat fewer calories without even trying. Try to eat 0.5 to 1 gram of protein daily for every pound of body weight, and get at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast.
The best-quality proteins come from animals, since the protein content of veggies, legumes and grains doesn't contain all the amino acids your body needs. Vegetarians need to make sure they're getting complete proteins by pairing peanut butter with whole wheat bread or beans with brown rice.
Foods for a High-Protein Diet
Among the foods you should stock up on when planning a high-protein diet are Greek yogurt, peanut butter, eggs, nonfat milk and lean poultry. Other good choices are lean steak, fish, beans, low-fat cheese and lean deli meats. When it comes to carbohydrates, focus on whole grain cereals, breads, waffles and tortillas, as well as baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. In addition, fruits and veggies are appropriate when following a high-protein diet.
The Protein Power Diet
The Protein Power Diet is one of several high-protein diets that focuses on limiting carbohydrates to lower the body's insulin level. As a result, the body makes glucagon, which in turn burns fat. The diet allows you to eat poultry, fish, low-fat cheeses, red meat and eggs. Vegetarians and vegans can get their protein from tofu. Also allowed are a variety of vegetables, including lettuce, asparagus, cucumber, peppers and mushrooms. In addition, you're allowed enough whole grain carbohydrates to give you 25 grams of fiber per day. Olive oil, butter and avocados are the only fats allowed on the diet, though you can have a glass of wine or beer if you count it as a carbohydrate.
A high-protein diet can be a short-term, high-intensity choice you make to burn off fat accumulated over a vacation or holiday period. It can also be a longer-term lifestyle choice made to help you lose weight and become healthier overall. While there are basic principles to follow to establish a high-protein diet, you can also choose to follow a diet that's already preplanned and tells you exactly what to eat and when to eat it.