A High-Protein Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Improve Health
Studies suggest that high-protein diets are good for short-term weight loss, muscle growth, and improved athletic performance

Protein is a macronutrient that is vital to good health, and essential for building and repairing muscles, bones, and organs in your body.

In addition to keeping you feeling full for longer and promoting weight loss, a high-protein diet can help lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels.

What is a high-protein diet plan?

A high-protein diet for weight loss involves eating more protein and fewer carbs and fats. In most high-protein diets, protein accounts for about 25% of total calorie intake.

Studies suggest that high-protein diets are good for short-term weight loss, muscle growth, and improved athletic performance.

How does a high-protein diet work?

High protein-diets work by enhancing satiety, preserving muscle mass, and increasing metabolic rate, all of which can help you lose weight.

By promoting feelings of fullness, protein can prevent overeating. Combining a high-protein diet with exercise can also promote muscle building. Lean muscle mass can increase your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

What are the best high-protein foods?

The percentage of protein in different foods is determined by the protein content per calorie. Foods that are high in protein and low in fat and carbs are ranked higher.

Examples of high-protein foods include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Seafood
  • Legumes, such as lentils, beans, and peas
  • Non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and cauliflower

Although non-starchy vegetables have a high protein percentage, they do not provide enough total protein, calories, or minerals. To lose weight, it is best to base your diet on an animal-based or plant-based protein and add vegetables for an additional boost of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. This method will ensure that the total protein percentage of your meals remains high.

Sample high-protein diet plan for weight loss

Breakfast

A poached egg with spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms over whole grain bread can provide you with 5 grams of protein.

One tablespoon of low-fat plain Greek yogurt contains 2 grams of protein. Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit is an excellent protein-rich breakfast.

Lunch

One can of tuna (95 grams) provides you with 20 grams of protein. Using it as a salad base is a great lunch option.

Skinless grilled chicken breast (150 grams) can provide you with 45 grams of protein. It makes a great protein-rich lunch with leafy greens and other vegetables.

Snack

Plain Greek yogurt with half a cup of berries or a smoothie with milk can help you satisfy your hunger and keep you feeling full.

Dinner

Salmon (170 grams) with roasted vegetables is a great way to get high-quality protein later in the day.

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How much protein should you consume a day?

Protein intake recommendations vary depending on factors such as your age and activity levels: 

  • Sedentary: 0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day 
  • Active: 0.7-1 gram per pound of body weight per day

If you want to gain muscle and lose fat below are the following recommendations for daily protein consumption:

  • Women: 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight
  • Men: 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight

What are the potential downsides of a high-protein diet?

Although there are many benefits to eating protein, excessive consumption can strain your liver and kidneys and cause other health problems. Some of the downsides of consuming too much protein include:

Some studies have suggested that high-protein diets can cause calcium loss and kidney impairment in people who already have kidney disease. However, high-protein diets are not harmful to healthy people when followed for the short term and under expert guidance.

Before starting a high-protein diet, consult your doctor, especially if you have kidney or liver problems.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-weight-loss

Protein and weight loss: how much protein do you need to eat per day? https://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/how-much-protein-should-you-eat-per-day-for-weight-loss

Protein Diet. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/protein-diet