top of page
  • Writer's pictureTalya Russell

3 Key Benefits of a High Protein Diet

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Authored by: Tayla Russell, Online weight loss coach, RD

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. It is commonly associated with building muscle, but its benefits go beyond just physical appearance. In this article, we will discuss the specific reasons why protein is important, even if you're not trying to lose weight.

1) Reduce Sugar Cravings

Do you ever find yourself reaching for a sweet treat in the afternoon or late at night? Protein consumption can help reduce sugar cravings by regulating blood sugar levels. When you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar spikes, causing a rapid insulin response, followed by a crash in energy. This crash often results in sugar cravings. However, consuming protein with your meals helps to slow down the release of sugar into your bloodstream, preventing these energy crashes and reducing sugar cravings.

2) Keep You Full and Satiated

One of the worst feelings when trying to lose weight is feeling hungry and unsatisfied. However, consuming protein-rich foods can help you feel fuller for longer periods. This satiety effect helps to reduce hunger and prevent overeating, which can lead to a calorie deficit and ultimately, weight loss. Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fats, meaning that your body burns more calories to digest protein. This effect, combined with feeling full and satisfied, can help you lose weight.

3) Build Muscle Mass

Building muscle mass is one of the most well-known benefits of protein consumption. Muscle mass not only improves physical appearance but also increases metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active, meaning that they require energy to function, even at rest. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body burns, and the higher your metabolism. This can lead to easier weight loss and improved overall health.

How Much Protein Should I Aim For?

The recommended daily protein intake for the average person is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. However, if you are physically active or looking to lose weight, you should aim for a higher protein intake. As a weight loss coach, I recommend aiming for 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should aim for 140-200 grams of protein per day. If that seems like a high number, start with 100 grams per day and increase as needed.

Tips for Increasing Your Protein Intake

Getting enough protein in your diet can be a challenge, especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan. However, there are plenty of ways to increase your protein intake without relying on meat. Here are some tips:

  • Add protein powder to smoothies

  • Snack on hard-boiled eggs or edamame

  • Incorporate Greek yogurt into your meals

  • Choose protein-rich vegetables like broccoli and spinach

  • Opt for plant-based protein sources like lentils, beans, and tofu

Protein is an essential nutrient that can help reduce sugar cravings, keep you full and satisfied, and build muscle mass. Regardless of whether you're trying to lose weight or not, incorporating protein-rich foods into your diet can have numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being. So why not start today and see the difference it can make in your life!

Want some of my favorite and easy tips on how to sneak more protein into your diet? Check out the list below!

  1. Combine cottage cheese with salad dressing or the powder mix for a creamier, higher protein dressing (½ cup of cottage cheese adds 13g protein)

  2. Add egg whites to scrambled eggs, omelets, or pancake mix (½ cup egg whites adds 13g protein)

  3. Sprinkle chia seeds into parfait, smoothies, or in baked goods (1 oz of chia seeds adds 5g protein)

  4. Keep canned tuna on hand to add in wraps, salad, sandwiches, or with a dip (3 oz of tuna packed in water adds 16g protein)

  5. Mix protein powder in greek yogurt, smoothies, pancake mix (1 scoop adds ~20g protein *depends on the brand)

  6. Add beans to salad, soup, taco meat, or as a side dish to any meal (½ cup black beans adds 8g protein)

  7. Grab a rotisserie chicken to add extra protein to a meal, or eat on its own! (1 oz chicken = 7g protein)

  8. Add frozen cauliflower rice to regular cooked rice, casseroles, soups, and smoothies (1 cup cooked cauliflower adds 4g protein)

  9. Use a high protein milk in smoothies, oatmeal, with cereal, or plain (1 cup fairlife milk = 13g protein)

  10. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over popcorn, casseroles, or toast (2 tbsp nutritional yeast = 5g protein)

  11. Add fat free feta to scrambled eggs, salads, or casseroles (¼ cup fat free feta = 7g protein)

  12. Top smoothies with powdered peanut butter or mix with water and drizzle over rice cakes or pancakes (2 tbsp naked PB adds 6g protein)

  13. Make spaghetti with high protein pasta noodles (1 serving of Banza pasta = 11g protein)

  14. Choose a high protein bread for toast or sandwiches (Dave’s Killer Organic Powerseed Bread = 6g protein per slice)

  15. Grab a high protein wrap for pizzas, wraps, pinwheels, or bake as chips (Joseph’s lavash flatbread = 9g protein)

About Tayla

Tayla Russell is an online weight loss coach specializing in flexible dieting. She creates everything from high protein meal plans to at home workout regimens to help keep her clients accountable and on track with their goals. Tayla believes you can lose weight without feeling miserable, giving up your favorite foods, or compromising your relationship with food. She has helped hundreds of men and women lose weight the right way and keep it off for good!

If you are interested in working with Tayla then get in touch with her Instagram or TikTok.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page