Many people have had great success losing weight on a high-protein, low-carb diet. A high-protein diet has also helped bodybuilders and athletes to pack on lots of muscle. Chowing down on protein foods is easy, but if you want to do it to lose weight and stay in shape, it will require some effort. You’ll need to learn the difference between healthy proteins and unhealthy proteins, and you’ll need to have a plan to consistently eat healthy high-protein meals.
How Much Protein to Eat
On a high-protein diet, you should consume about 30 percent protein, 20 percent fat and 50 percent carbohydrates. The total amount of combined calories totally depends on your body size and your goals. If your goal is to gain weight and build muscle, then you should be consuming lots of calories, but if your goal is weight loss, you should obviously be consuming fewer calories. You’ll need to determine how many calories you should be consuming for your goals and body size, then you’ll need to start keeping track of how much of each type of food you are consuming by reading the nutrition labels.
Good Sources of Protein
Many people who aren’t successful with the high-protein diet don’t choose the healthy kinds of protein to eat. Healthy proteins include poultry, fish, egg whites, beans, soy, tofu, certain dairy products such as low-fat milk and yogurt and certain red meats such as lean-cut beef, pork and lamb. Avoid eating lots of protein that is also high in fat or processed such as hamburger, bacon and hot dogs.
Getting Protein on the Road
If you want stick to a high-protein diet, you can’t plan on being able to just find healthy sources of protein on the road. Almost all of the protein foods that you’ll find at fast-food restaurants are full of fat and everything else that you should be avoiding. You’ll need to start packing meals for times when you know you won’t be able to make it home to eat. Packing a tuna fish sandwich and some low-fat yogurt would be a great way to maintain a healthy diet outside of your home. If you really don’t feel like making a meal, protein bars and shakes are still a good alternative to eating fast food.
Non-Protein Foods to Eat
Even in a high-protein diet, you’ll still need to eat other healthy foods to balance your diet and ensure that you are getting proper nutrition. For the carbohydrates in your diet, eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods such as rice, pasta and noodles. For your fat intake, try to eat avocados and oils from peanuts, olives, canola and other vegetables.
Cautions for a High-Protein Diet
High-protein diets are usually safe for normal adults, but there are exceptions. Because excess protein in your system is excreted by the kidneys and liver, people who have kidney or liver problems shouldn’t put more stress on these organs by going on a protein diet. Most people who develop problems from a high-protein diet do so because they neglect getting the nutrients they need from other sources of food, or they eat too much protein that is also high in unhealthy fats.