What Happens If You Only Eat Protein – Eating protein keeps you fuller for longer. It can provide many health benefits including increasing muscle mass.
Most people eat enough protein to prevent deficiency, but some people do better with higher protein intakes.
What Happens If You Only Eat Protein
Studies show that protein is very filling. less food – helps you feel full (
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This is because protein lowers levels of your hunger hormone, ghrelin. It also increases levels of the peptide YY, a hormone that keeps you full (
These effects on appetite can be severe. In one study, increasing protein intake by 15% to 30% caused overweight women to eat 441 fewer calories each day than when they intentionally restricted (
If you need to lose weight or belly fat, consider replacing some of your carbs and fats with protein. For example, making your potatoes or rice smaller and adding extra bites of meat or fish.
Summary A high-protein diet reduces appetite and helps you eat fewer calories. This is due to the increased activity of hormones that control weight.
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Because of this, consuming adequate amounts of protein will help maintain your muscle mass and promote muscle growth when you do strength training.
If you’re physically active, lifting weights, or trying to build muscle, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Summary Muscle is mostly made up of protein. A high protein intake can help you build muscle mass and strength while reducing muscle loss during weight loss.
A prevailing myth perpetuates the notion that protein — primarily animal protein — is bad for your bones.
Science Backed Reasons To Eat More Protein
Protein increases the acid load in the body based on the idea that it causes calcium to leach from your bones to neutralize the acid.
People who eat more protein tend to maintain better bones as they age and have a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures (
This is especially important for women who are at risk of osteoporosis after menopause. Eating more protein and being active is a great way to prevent this.
Summary: People who eat more protein have better bone health and a much lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures as they age.
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Not only does your body need energy or nutrients, but your brain needs a reward too (18).
However, controlling hunger can be incredibly difficult. The best way to deal with them is to prevent them.
A study of overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced hunger by 60% and cut late-night snacking by half (
Likewise, a study of overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced hunger and late-night snacking.
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This may be mediated through an improvement in the activity of dopamine, one of the key brain hormones involved in appetite and addiction (
Summary Eating more protein can reduce hunger and late-night snacking. A high-protein breakfast can have a powerful effect.
This is because your body uses it to digest calories and use the nutrients in food. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).
However, not all foods are created equal in this regard. In fact, protein has a higher thermic effect than fat or carbohydrates – 20-35% versus 5-15% (
Fasting & Protein Shake
High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned. This burns 80-100 calories each day (
In fact, some research suggests you might burn even more. In one study, the high-protein group burned 260 more calories per day than the low-protein group. This equates to one hour of moderate-intensity exercise per day (
In a review of 40 controlled studies, increased protein reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number of a measurement) by an average of 1.76 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a measurement) by 1.15 mm Hg (
In addition to lowering blood pressure, one study found that a high-protein diet lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (
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Summary Many studies indicate that high protein intake can lower blood pressure. Some studies also show improvements in other risk factors for heart disease.
Because a high-protein diet boosts metabolism and automatically reduces calorie intake and appetite, many people who increase their protein intake lose weight immediately (
In one study, overweight women who got 30% of their calories from protein lost 5 kg (11 pounds) in 12 weeks—they weren’t intentionally restricting their diet (
In a 12-month study of 130 overweight people, the high-protein group on a restricted-calorie diet lost 53% more body fat than the normal-protein group eating the same number of calories (
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Of course, losing weight is a start. Maintaining weight loss is a major challenge for most people.
A moderate increase in protein intake helps maintain weight. In one study, increasing protein to 15% to 18% of calories reduced weight again by 50% (
Summary Increasing your protein intake not only helps you lose weight but also helps keep it off in the long run.
It’s true that limiting protein intake can benefit people who already have kidney disease. It should not be taken lightly as kidney problems can be very serious (
Five Things You Should Know About Eating A High Protein Diet
While high protein intake can be harmful for people with kidney problems, it has no relevance for people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, several studies underscore that high-protein diets are not harmful for people without kidney disease (
Summary Although protein can be harmful to people with kidney problems, it doesn’t affect people with healthy kidneys.
More severe cases are called age-related sarcopenia, which is a leading cause of frailty, broken bones, and reduced quality of life in the elderly (
Post Workout: What To Eat And When
Eating more protein is one of the best ways to reduce age-related muscle wasting and prevent sarcopenia (
It’s also important to be physically active, and lifting weights or doing some form of resistance exercise can do wonders (
Although high protein intake has health benefits for many people, it is not necessary for everyone.
Most people already get about 15% of their calories from protein, which is enough to prevent deficiency.
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However, in some cases people can benefit from eating more than that – up to 25-30% of the calories.
If you’re trying to lose weight, improve your metabolic health, or build muscle mass and strength, make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space and will update our articles as new information becomes available. I don’t care about being right; I’m interested in finding out the truth. After all, it means being a scientist. That means I’m willing to change my mind about many assumptions about muscle building.
Such an assumption is called protein timing. Studio managers know that too. You see it all the time in the gym: guys have a protein shake throughout their workout and then shake it off after their workout. And some guys are crazy about it. They fear that if they don’t get protein into their bodies right away, all their hard work will be for nothing.
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That’s because, for nearly two decades, dedicated strength athletes have assumed that they need to get protein into their bodies within 45 minutes of completing a strength routine. This will help them develop their muscles better.
According to this protein timing theory (aka the anabolic window), consuming protein during and around a strength training session helps muscles recover faster, resulting in better gains in both muscle strength and muscle mass (hypertrophy). I also tend to buy this mindset.
Now I know that the anabolic window of opportunity is a small window and a huge barn door that’s always open. A few years ago, my colleagues and I reexamined the evidence for protein timing and realized that there was another side to explore. So we conducted a meta-analysis (a review of all randomized controlled trials on a given topic) that questioned how the sports nutrition world views post-workout protein.
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Together we analyzed 23 high-quality protein timing studies and at first glance, protein timing appeared to have a major impact on muscle size. But then we considered some differences. We broke down the studies in detail and assessed the total protein intake, the exercise level of the study participants, and the duration of each study.
Suddenly, the role of protein timing in muscle growth disappeared. In fact (to even my surprise), the amount of protein consumed throughout the day explained the variance in muscle growth more than what they consumed.
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