Whether you are trying to gain muscle or trying to lose fat, or are a newbie to the world of health and fitness, everybody must have advised you to load up on protein. Often called the building blocks of life, proteins are essential in building muscle and recover muscle loss after high intensity training and workout. Protein also helps facilitate weight loss since it takes a while for protein to break down and digest. It stays in your system for a longer time, making you feel satiated, if you are feeling full, you are less likely to binge. Protein also helps regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin, that helps keep a check on cravings. But a lot of us, in a bid to lose weight do not understand how to follow a high-protein diet and end up committing mistakes that may prove detrimental to our long term plans.
Here are common diet mistakes that could take all our weight loss efforts for a toss:
1. Be careful of the kind of protein you are taking
While it is a good weight loss strategy to switch to a high protein diet, but be sure of the kind of protein you include in your diet. Opt for lean sources of protein like chicken and fish, they are much less fatty than their red counterparts in lamb and pork. Try to steer clear of bacon as much as possible, studies have claimed that fried bacon is a rich source of saturated fats.
(Also Read: Is Too Much Protein Bad For You?)
2. Make sure your protein intake is spread well throughout the day
Plan your day well, and make sure you include protein across all your meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Have protein-rich snacks like boiled eggs, nuts and protein shake too at some point of the day, to ensure steady inflow of amino acids.
3. Eliminating carbs completely from your diet
Eliminating carbohydrates or any other macronutrient from your diet may prove detrimental to your health. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, your body needs a mix of many nutrients and proteins alone cannot cater to all of them. Make sure your meals are a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
4. Not exercising portion control
To assume that high-protein foods do not contribute to weight gain is wrong way to approach a sustainable weight loss strategy. Excess of anything is harmful. Protein helps induce satiety, which prevents you from bingeing on other fattening foods in short intervals. But if you keep eating high protein foods in excess, it would definitely lead to a calorie overload. For weight loss, you need to create a calorie deficit. Extra calories accumulate as fats.
5. Not having enough water
Staying hydrated is a very important component of a weight loss diet. Water helps fill you up and prevent unwanted cravings. If you are on a high protein diet, the excess nitrogen excreted during the digestion of amino acids could make you feel parched and thirsty. Therefore you must drink water from time to time. Many people on high protein diet also often complain about constipation. Drinking enough water helps soften stool and facilitate better bowel movement and digestion.
Keep these pointers in mind and lose weight naturally!