Nowadays there are so many experts and non certified individuals giving advice on weight loss as well as there is so much information on diet that it becomes overwhelming how to tackle weight loss and management.
If you are someone who has been on the lookout for that perfect diet plan to aid in weight loss or if you are a fitness enthusiast who is more in tune with the latest trends, then you would have heard about high protein diets. High protein diets are latest trend in the recent years with many fitness coaches, trainers, actors and celebrities endorsing it. It is not without any reason that this protein rich diet fad is such a huge success.
Protein is the body’s building block and vital to development and correct functioning of all of our organs including hair, skin, muscles and nails. It is no doubt one of the most important nutrients as it is part of every cell in the body.
There are many high protein diets out there but many of them are based on animal protein and there are few who stress on plant protein. Once such natural ingredient I covered in my earlier post was – What Do You Know About Soy?.
Soy is considered to be the most complete vegetable protein as it also also rich in vitamin E, fiber, calcium, magnesium, lecithin, riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, iron and essential fatty acids. Soy foods are also naturally low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates and are a rich source of protein. Whole soybeans contain a range of important nutrients in addition to being a complete protein that contains all the nine essential amino acids. They may not be as good as meat or eggs but better than most other plant proteins. It’s naturally cholesterol and lactose free.
A high protein diet helps boost metabolism and reduces appetite. Proteins are known to take longer to digest compared to carbs and hence it helps to keep hunger at bay for longer periods which in turn will may help you to eat less throughout the day ultimately leading to weight loss. The satiating effect of Soy protein helps individuals control hunger and thereby reduce their calorie intake. Soyfoods have also known to have the added benefit of lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol while aiding in weight control.
Our body uses protein to build and repair tissues especially for people who are into fitness and bodybuilding. Ask any fitness enthusiast and they would swear by protein as it helps you build and maintain muscle mass. A strong body not only performs better throughout daily activities, but the muscles also burn more calories than fat, even at rest. Muscle soreness can be eased by assisting the repair and recovery of the muscle fibres with a good intake of protein in the diet. Soy protein in the form of milk, tofu, oil, tempeh, miso nuts and edamame also helps to maintain muscle mass in athletes.
Any healthy diet for weight loss or wellness should include a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Weight loss can be tricky as it depends on many factors such as age, weight, stress and lifestyle of the individual to name a few. When someone wants to lose weight what they need to understand is that there is a difference between weight and fat. Ideally what they should be targeting is shedding fat and not existing muscle. When you lose weight, you land up losing both fat and muscle which can lead to a slower metabolism. Since muscles are made of protein, eating a high-protein diet will prevent muscle loss and help boost your metabolic rate. The FDA claim that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
For overweight individuals, the fat loss will show a decrease in weight upto a point after which based on diet and exercise there would be gain of lean muscle provided they are on a high protein diet. In addition to a high protein diet it is important to remember that being active is equally important as inactivity on a high protein diet would lead to the protein getting converted to glucose which in turn converts to fat.
Proteins are also high in calories and should ideally make up for about 35% of your daily calorie intake with fats and carbohydrates taking up the rest. It is important to pair proteins with other essential nutrients in order to keep the body healthy, but it is important to include more protein in order to help you lose weight. With a variety of healthy soy protein-rich soy foods, it is easy to substitute soy for other forms of protein.
- RDA for healthy adults: Minimum of 0.8 g/kg/day (54 grams for a person weighing 150 pounds)
- Exercisers and for Weight Loss: 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg/day (82 to 116 grams for a person weighing 150 pounds)
- Consume 10 to 35 percent of your total calories as protein.
While a lot of the above information is out there, it is no doubt essential to eat a varied and well balanced diet. It is equally important to incorporate more protein especially one like soy protein along with exercise which can help one reach their weight loss goals.