The health and weight benefits of
High Protein Recipes
A high protein diet gets to work on helping you lose weight straight from the plate. The simple act of eating protein gets your body working at a higher rate as protein makes your digestive system work harder to metabolise and digest the food. So simply put, you are immediately burning more calories just by consuming protein..
Protein also takes longer to make the journey through your digestive system so it has a superior satiating factor (meaning you stay feeling fuller for longer). The obvious benefit of this is that you are not feeling hungry and looking for the snack jar just an hour after you have eaten a meal.
Protein is also turned into amino acids. These are the building blocks of lean muscle. So rather than converting or storing your meal as fats or sugars, high protein low carb recipes are actually helping to develop more lean muscle.
Why is this good? Well, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is one of the main reasons weight-bearing exercise has had such a resurgence. Lifting weights is what is known as an anabolic exercise. Running, as an example, is an aerobic exercise.
The difference is that when you go for a run or walk (which, don’t get us wrong is a very healthy thing to do and vital for cardio vascular health) you are burning energy during the exercise period but then only for up to a few hours after the exercise. Weight-bearing exercise such as lifting weights, doing squats, doing push-ups… makes new muscle tissue, this muscle tissue is burning energy at a high rate constantly (even when you are asleep). It is also important for men and women because each time you do a weight bearing exercise your bones flex a tiny bit, repetition of this flexing causes them to get stronger and lessens your chances of bone problems such as osteoporosis.
Busting a myth.
A lot of women are worried about weight-bearing exercise or a high protein diet as they don’t want to ‘bulk up’ and end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well relax. Females have very low levels of one of the main hormones for that to happen – testosterone. You would need to be lifting massive weights, in multiple daily sessions for months and months to even get close to noticeable muscle development.
What is happening is actually the opposite. With a high protein diet you are strengthening and reactivating the muscles you already have, which in turn fast track fat burning. You will have heard the term toning up. Such a thing doesn’t exist. What is actually happening with high protein weight loss, with or without weights, doesn’t tone your muscles, it simply is supercharging your metabolism, which in turn burns off the fat surrounding your muscles so you look ‘toned’.
So here is some advice on making the most of high protein low carb recipes. With high protein recipes you want to be eating between 0.8 – 1.0 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight, per day. For faster weight loss, particularly if you aren’t exercising regularly, tend more to the lower end of that scale. So if you weigh 80kg that is around 64 – 80 grams of protein, which can be absorbed from approximately 200-400g of lean protein sources.
To make protein work even harder for you, try to get about 30% of your daily protein at breakfast. That’s about 2 eggs and a cup of cottage cheese and this will kick your metabolism into gear after rest. Ironically the best way to put on weight for men and women is to not eat breakfast. Not only will you be lower on energy and concentration but your metabolism will be in semi hibernation (and no, a big cup of coffee is not a breakfast).
So what are your best sources of protein?
Nuts and whole grains are good but don’t contain all the goodness of animal products. Skinless white meat – turkey, chicken, fish, lean pork as well as red meat, are the best choices. For vegetarians it’s brown rice, tofu, beans, cheese or vegetarian protein powders.
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* See Griffith University Research report