Can Eating a High Protein Diet Make You Fat?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the mixed reputation of high protein diets.
We’ve shown you how eggs are one of nature’s best protein sources despite the misconception they increase cholesterol. We’ve told you how high protein diets actually preserve your bones instead of causing osteoporosis.
But there’s one common concern we need to talk about…
Adding more protein to your diet usually means adding more fat. And if you’re eating too much of anything, you can gain weight.
|Looking for a high protein dessert? Try melting an 85 percent dark chocolate bar in a double boiler and dip some raw almonds in it. Let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to solidify and you have a guilt-free dessert that is high in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. What you do with the leftover chocolate is up to you, of course!|
Can high protein diets can make you gain weight? It’s tricky…
Yes and no. If you’re eating a diet high in fatty, processed meats and not watching your total caloric intake, you can gain weight easily. And if you’re eating a diet too high in carbohydrates, you will also put on the pounds.
Upping your protein doesn’t mean you should feel free to eat vast amounts of bacon and dairy products. It means eating clean proteins—organic, lean, and high in nutrients. It means not shying away from healthy fats like olive and coconut oil.
If you’re eating clean proteins and healthy carbohydrates from vegetables, your diet will be your best friend when it comes to burning body fat and losing weight.
For instance, if you eat a meal with 33 percent protein compared to a meal with only 14 percent protein, your fat burning ability rises by 38 percent.1
So while you may be adding calories to a meal by adding more protein, you’re also helping your body burn fat more efficiently. Especially if you’re eating a lower carbohydrate diet.
Increasing protein intake from .8 g to 1.2 g per kg of bodyweight per day helps you burn fat while maintaining your muscle and lean body mass. Eating the higher amount—1.2 g per kg of bodyweight—even helps lower blood pressure.2
How else can eating more protein help you lose weight? High protein meals and snacks tend to be more satisfying. This means that eating protein will keep you from wanting to eat in between meals.
The most important idea behind a high protein diet is that protein should make up a large portion of your diet. But it doesn’t have to be your whole diet. You should still be getting healthy carbohydrates each day from non-starchy, green vegetables, and fruits.
Try adding more quality proteins like wild caught salmon, grass fed beef, and raw nuts to your diet.
Increasing your dietary protein helps you burn body fat after meals, keeps you feeling full longer, and helps maintain muscle. As our study shows, it doesn’t take a drastic increase in protein intake to see results.
Everyone’s protein needs are different based on age, sex, and activity level. There are online calculators that will tell you what your minimum protein requirements are.