Want to lose weight easily? One effective method, which is born out in this new research, is to eat a little more protein. You don’t need to overdo it, but if you are cutting calories, don’t cut your protein intake.
Are You Eating Enough Protein?
This study by Purdue University nutrition scientists show that eating more protein daily than what is recommended may only benefit a few. The beneficiaries are (1) those who are actively losing weight by cutting calories, and (2) those strength training to build more lean muscle mass.
- The research also affirms that the recommended dietary allowance, of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, is adequate for most people.
- For example, an adult who weighs 150 pounds should eat 54 grams of protein a day, which could be three ounces of lean meat, three cups of dairy and one ounce of seeds or nuts within a day.
- The findings support the fact that most adults who are consuming adequate amounts of protein.
- A moderately higher protein intake is called for when you are trying to change your body composition, such as when you are dieting or strength training.
- Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, cautions that “The results are not meant to encourage everyone to increase their protein intake in general.
Joshua L. Hudson, Purdue postdoctoral research associate, and the leader of the research study emphasizes that adding mega-portions of protein to an average person’s diet is not advisable.
- There is so much encouragement, advertising and marketing for everyone to eat higher protein diets.
- This research supports increasing protein only under certain conditions, including strength training and weight loss.
- Even then, only a moderate increase is warranted.
How the Protein Study Was Conducted
This is how the Purdue researchers investigated protein needs:
- The first screened More than 1,500 nutrition articles across journal databases to identify 18 studies with 22 intervention groups and 981 participants that addressed this topic.
- The studies were selected based on specific factors including inclusion of healthy adults, protein intake, weight loss and physical activity.
- The sources of protein evaluated included lean and minimally processed meats, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.
- The research is clinically more important for women and especially older women who are known to typically consume lower amounts of protein and should be maintaining a healthy bodyweight and regularly strength training.
How to Lose Weight Easily: Add Moderate Amounts of Protein
Here is what the study findings show for dieters to want to know how to lose weight easily.
What do these findings mean for someone watching their weight during the holidays or planning New Year’s resolutions?
According to Professor Campbell:
- If you are going to start losing weight, don’t cut back across all foods you usually consume, because you’ll inadvertently cut back protein.
- Instead, work to maintain, or even moderately increase, protein-rich foods.
- Then, cut back on the carbs and saturated fat-containing foods.
- Protein is critical to building muscle mass and may be a part of adopting healthy eating patterns, including the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet.
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