A common theory about protein consumption is that it can help prevent and combat obesity by better managing the body’s load. Protein breaks down more slowly than carbohydrates, so it can help you feel full longer and keep you from feeling hungry mid-meal, allowing you to snack less. However, some disagree about whether protein is safe and effective for long-term health.
A recent study found that a high-protein diet can lead to weight gain. People whose diet consists of more than 20% protein, especially animal protein, are more likely to gain weight than those who eat less than 10% protein. However, protein is an essential nutrient that helps maintain body load, so knowing how much protein to consume can be confusing.
If you consume more than your body needs for muscle growth and repair, you may begin to gain weight. The additional protein nitrogen components are removed and enter the gluconeogenesis cycle. Here, your body cannot distinguish between the glycogen it produces and carbohydrates, so it begins to store more body fat.
The relationship between protein and weight gain
Simply put, consuming too much of anything can be wasteful—protein consumption is no different. If you consume protein for longer than your body needs, it can cause negative effects such as weight gain. Also, how you consume your protein plays a role in managing your body load.
How much protein should we consume daily?
Your daily protein needs will vary based on your lifestyle, goals, body type, pregnancy, and underlying diseases or conditions. For example, an extremely active person, such as a sportsperson or athlete, should not consume more than 2 g of protein per kg of body weight. At any given time, a healthy person with a normal level of physical activity should consume approximately 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. Anything above that can cause unhealthy weight gain.
Scientifically, your body can convert and store any macronutrient into stored fat. So if you eat too much protein, your body may convert it to sugar and store it as fat, depending on how easily other forms of energy are accessible.
While consuming protein, you can eat high-protein foods that contain calories. One of the most revealing facts about protein is that high-protein foods and supplements can also have calories. Therefore, consuming too much and not burning can cause negative effects. It’s no secret that consuming more calories than you burn daily will always lead to weight gain. However, genuine advice from a fitness trainer or expert nutritionist can help you better understand and classify your proteins.
Simple strategies to reduce other macronutrients while increasing your intake can help. However, there are other risks of consuming too much protein over time. For example, it can damage the kidneys or negatively affect cardiovascular health.
Protein plays a vital role in maintaining your overall wellness. However, consuming too much will lead to weight gain over time. This is especially true if you exceed the recommended calorie intake. So if your goal is to lose weight, you need to pay attention to your total calorie intake. However, if your goal is to gain weight, the most valuable thing is to increase your total calorie intake by keeping 20-30% of calories from protein intake along with carbohydrates and fats.
Avoid These Common Misconceptions to Prevent Unhealthy Protein-Induced Weight Gain
The only way to gain unhealthy weight from protein intake is to consume too much or prepare it in an unhealthy way.
Some of the successful ways to prevent unhealthy weight gain include:
- Make sure you don’t get too many calories (which you can burn) from your high-protein foods.
- Running, gymnastics, etc. Stay physically active by participating in physical activities such as
- Consult a qualified nutritionist to understand your body’s protein needs.
- Pay attention to the foods you choose to meet your daily protein requirement.
Protein sources that can contribute to weight gain
Lack of a proper training routine and using too much protein powder can cause weight gain; If you increase your protein intake without changing other nutrients in your diet to balance the increased calories, you will begin to gain weight. Protein powder can be helpful for those trying to gain weight, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you should use it wisely.
Those who want to gain weight struggle with a lack of appetite. Protein powders are an easy way to increase your protein intake without consuming more complete nutrients. Depending on the brand and protein content, protein powders vary. So consult a dietitian to determine which one is best for you. The experts will guide you towards the most appropriate option for your wellness needs.
Store-bought yogurt often claims to be high in protein, but you shouldn’t consume it on a daily basis, as it may contain added sugar and ham. Also, they are not healthy for you as they add sweeteners. Homemade yogurts are always the best option.
Meat is rich in protein, cholesterol, saturated fat and calories. Plus, because it doesn’t contain fiber, you’re more likely to overeat. But lean chicken meat helps you build muscle, preventing unwanted weight gain.
Cheese is a decent source of protein, calcium, and other essentials. However, being mindful of the cheese you eat is very valuable. Avoid processed cheese if you want to avoid weight gain.