Is a high-protein diet your ticket to a ripped body? Yes and no. It’s true that it takes your body more energy to burn protein – but too much of it could backfire. And even make you gain weight! So, here’s what you need to know about protein:
You don’t need to shell out big bucks for protein shakes and energy bars to get your fix. You probably already get enough protein in your daily diet. Studies show that most of us, even vegetarians, consume roughly 50 grams of protein a day – that’s right on target according to nutritionists. Because when you think about it – a small serving of chicken has over 25 grams – a yogurt at breakfast has roughly 10 – and 2 handfuls of nuts have 15. Eat that and you’re already there.
It’s a proven calorie-burner! When you eat, your body burns calories breaking down the food. But protein takes more energy to break down, so your stomach has to work harder and uses more calories – which increases your metabolism.
But even though protein increases metabolism it can still make you GAIN WEIGHT. Nutritionists say no matter what you eat – if you overeat – you’ll gain weight. So, going all-protein all the time, and scarfing eggs, steak and peanuts will make you gain weight. The reason high-protein diets like Atkins work is because you’re supposed to cut your overall calories – not just increase the amount of protein you eat.
Can you eat too much protein? You bet. According to the American Heart Association, a high-protein diet can make your kidneys work overtime and may cause damage. Too much protein can also cause toxic chemicals, called ketones, to show up in your bloodstream. And when your liver is trying to filter out all those ketones, it can become damaged, too.