You've Got The Wrong Idea...
High protein intake has gotten a bad rap for endangering health but the truth is that is simply not the case. The myth that a high protein diet causes health problems has been fueled by low government recommendations and negative media exposure. In fact, high protein meals will do quite the opposite; many studies have shown a protein diet provides numerous health benefits.
Furthermore, as in the study shown below, consuming just one high protein meal midday can significantly improve satiety (feeling of fullness) and will result in a lower daily caloric intake (Latner, J. D., & Schwartz, M. 1999). Participants were split into three groups to observe the effects of a high-carb, high protein or balanced lunch on caloric intake later as well as hunger control (Latner, J. D., & Schwartz, M. 1999).
As shown in the graph, those subjects who were given a high protein liquid meal at lunch time ate significantly less calories at dinner, and rated their feelings of hunger lower, proving that just one high protein meal is effective in reducing hunger and lowering caloric intake (Latner, J. D., & Schwartz, M. 1999). Both of these factors, reduced hunger and caloric intake, are key to whether or not a person will stick to their diet and actually see results.
If you aren’t already eating high protein meals, I highly suggest you begin consuming at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight spread out over 4 to 5 meals throughout your day. It will significantly improve muscle recovery and, as shown above, even fat loss.
Reduce Your Appetite
In addition to this, increasing protein intake can significantly reduce your appetite after consumption and aid in long-term weight loss or adherence.
Interestingly, the 3-dimensional structures of proteins actually make them quite difficult to digest. Because of this difficulty with breakdown, the speed at which the amino acids exit the stomach is actually slowed down, keeping you fuller for longer.
What’s more, because of this delay, cells in the stomach that secrete the hunger hormone called ghrelin (the key hunger hormone) are actually inhibited from releasing the hormone which makes you hungry again.