Weightloss

A Guide To Sustainable Weight Loss

Weight loss has become a universal concern, and it’s no surprise that we all seek ways to shed those extra pounds. However, the journey to sustainable weight loss can be challenging and confusing, with many diets claiming to be the best. Amidst all the confusion, protein has become a crucial nutrient in weight loss diets.

Protein is our body’s building block and plays a significant role in keeping us full and satisfied. Unfortunately, most diets consumed these days are carbohydrate and fat-rich, leaving little room for protein. Therefore, incorporating sufficient protein in our diet is essential for weight loss.

One such approach that has gained popularity is the 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss. This approach involves increasing protein intake while reducing carbohydrate and fat consumption to achieve sustainable weight loss and muscle gain. However, it’s crucial to note that this diet is not a quick fix but a practical step requiring consistent effort and lifestyle modifications.

The following sections aim to provide a comprehensive guide to the 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss, including practical ways to incorporate protein into your diet. So let’s get started and understand the significance of protein in our weight loss journey.

Understanding Protein

Protein, as one of the vital macronutrients, plays a fundamental role in our body’s overall functioning. It can be found virtually everywhere, from muscles and tissues to bones, skin, and even hair. Protein relies on a combination of essential amino acids from food sources and non-essential amino acids synthesised within the body.

While protein does not serve as the primary energy source for the body, it plays several vital roles. Let’s explore some of these roles:

Strength and Structure: Protein is responsible for the construction and repair of various body tissues, including skin, bones, and muscles. It provides the necessary strength and durability to these structures.

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Hormones: Hormones that act as chemical messengers are vital for communication between organs and tissues, initiating and regulating various processes in the body. Protein plays a crucial role in hormone production and function.

Enzymes: Enzymes are catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions in the body, allowing them to occur faster. Protein serves as the foundation for numerous enzymes, facilitating essential biological responses.

Transporter: Protein acts as a transporter, facilitating the movement of substances through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. It ensures the efficient delivery of nutrients, hormones, and other molecules to their intended destinations.

Defence: Protein plays a significant role in the body’s defence system, acting as antibodies that combat foreign invaders like bacteria and pathogens. It helps protect our body from harmful substances and contributes to our immune response.

Summary 

Protein is a crucial macronutrient composed of amino acids with a wide range of bodily functions. For example, it contributes to growth, repair, transportation, and defence mechanisms. In addition, it acts as an enzyme and hormone. Therefore, understanding the importance of protein is crucial for embarking on a successful weight loss journey.

Understanding the Optimal Protein Intake for Effective Weight Loss

Determining the ideal amount of protein for weight loss can be perplexing. However, scientific recommendations provide us with valuable insights.

According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, healthy adults engaging in limited physical activity should consume 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. It translates to approximately 10-20% of total calorie intake from protein. For instance, an individual weighing 75 kg should aim for around 60 grams of protein daily, assuming a total calorie intake of 1800. In this scenario, the protein intake should range between 45-135 grams.

However, the protein requirements differ for individuals performing different physical activity levels. For example, those engaging in minimal, moderate, and high physical activity should consume approximately 1 g, 1.3 g, and 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, respectively.

It is worth noting that a study has suggested a safe upper limit of 2-2.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for long-term consumption among healthy adults. Nevertheless, exceeding this upper limit may lead to kidney and digestive complications. Therefore, individuals must consult a healthcare provider before significantly increasing their protein intake.

Summary 

The recommended protein intake ranges from 0.8 g/kg BW/day as the RDA, with a tolerable upper limit of 2-2.5 g/kg BW/day for long-term consumption. Going beyond this threshold may pose various health risks.

Animal-Based or Plant-Based Protein: Unraveling the Protein Puzzle

Contrary to popular belief, choosing between animal-based and plant-based protein sources is not straightforward. There has long been a misconception that plant-based proteins are incomplete and insufficient for meeting our nutritional needs. However, recent scientific studies have debunked this notion, revealing the true potential of plant-based proteins and dispelling the myth that vegetarians struggle to obtain adequate protein.

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Animal-based protein sources are often hailed as “complete proteins”. It is because they contain all the essential amino acids in the right proportions. On the other hand, plant-based sources have been labelled as “incomplete proteins” due to their varying amino acid profiles. However, it is important to note that plant-based proteins contain all the essential and non-essential amino acids; their proportions may differ slightly from animal-based proteins. One can resolve this discrepancy by combining two complementary plant-based protein sources.

While animal-based proteins offer a high protein content, some downsides accompany their consumption. For instance, studies have associated red meat with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, although this correlation may be regarding processed red meat specifically. On the contrary, there is no such complication in consuming fish or lean poultry like chicken or turkey.

Here are some examples of animal-based lean protein sources and their values according to USDA.

  • Cod: 17.8 g per 100 g
  • Bass: 17.7 g per 100 g
  • Chicken breast tenders: 14.7 g per 100 g
  • Egg: 12.6 g per 100 g
  • Cottage cheese: 11.1 g per 100 g
  • Plain whole milk yoghurt: 3.47 g per 100 g
  • Milk: 3.27 g per 100 g

Plant-based protein sources can also provide ample protein to vegetarians or vegans. Here are a few examples:

  • Kidney beans: 25.9 g per 100 g
  • Tofu: 8.8 g per 100 g
  • Almonds: 21.4 g per 100 g
  • Walnuts: 13.5 g per 100 g
  • Cashews: 17.4 g per 100 g
  • Quinoa: 14.1 g per 100 g
  • Chia seeds: 16.5 g per 100 g

Summary

Conflicting studies exist regarding the merits of animal-based versus plant-based protein. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Animal protein is commonly regarded as complete, while plant-based proteins, although containing all essential amino acids, may have slightly lower quantities. Opting for lean animal-based proteins can be a favourable choice as they do not harm health. However, avoiding processed meats is essential, as they increase the risk of various disorders. Additionally, incorporating plant-based proteins into a vegetarian or vegan diet can be a valuable and nutritious addition. The key is to strike a balance that suits individual preferences and dietary requirements.

Protein and Weight Loss: The Connection 

Protein is a vital macronutrient that plays a crucial role in weight loss. Scientific studies have consistently shown that a high protein diet can help reduce weight and severity of other lifestyle-related disorders. Consuming 18-30% of calories from protein, along with a relatively lower intake of carbohydrates and fats, can lead to significant weight loss.

Here are some ways through which protein helps in weight loss:

Satiety and Fullness: Research shows that protein increases the production of gut hormones that keep you full and satisfied. It also keeps the hunger hormone ghrelin, reducing hunger and increasing the feeling of fullness.

Burns More Calories: Studies show that protein requires more energy to break down, transport, and store than fats and carbohydrates. Consuming protein can increase the body’s energy expenditure by about 20-30%, leading to increased weight loss.

Weight Loss and Body Composition: A high-protein diet can promote weight loss and fat loss while retaining muscle mass. This change in body composition can help maintain the metabolic rate and restrict muscle loss.

Summary 

Protein causes weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, changing body composition, and reducing feelings of hunger. 

Understanding the 7-day Protein Diet Plan for Weight Loss

A 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss follows a well-balanced approach, where more than 20% of the total daily calories come from protein, around 50% from carbohydrates, and 20-25% from fat. This distribution ensures that the body receives an adequate amount of each macronutrient for optimal functioning and sustainable weight loss.

To maximise the benefits of protein intake, one must spread it throughout the day rather than consuming it all in one meal. This approach enhances digestion and absorption of protein, allowing the body to utilise it more effectively. In addition, incorporating protein into each meal and snack provides a steady supply of amino acids.

Research shows that individuals with kidney diseases should avoid consuming a high-protein diet. That is because the excess protein intake can strain the kidneys, which may be detrimental to their function. Additionally, during times of nutritional deficiency, it is advisable to avoid a high-protein diet as it may restrict the intake of other essential nutrients needed for overall health.

Understanding the science behind the 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss helps us make informed decisions about our dietary choices. By striking the right balance between protein, carbohydrates, and fats and considering individual health conditions, we can embark on a weight loss journey that is both effective and sustainable.

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7-Day High Protein Diet Plan for Weight Loss: Indian Edition

Following a high-protein diet plan can be an effective way to lose weight and improve overall health. The reference diet plan below provides 25% of calories from protein which is nearly 70g for an individual consuming 1200-1300 kCal. This 7-day high protein diet plan for weight loss is nutritious and balanced.

Day 1

  • Early morning: Four soaked almonds and two soaked walnuts
  • Breakfast: Poha with peanuts & boiled egg/grilled tofu
  • Lunch: Sprout salad (1 cup), wheat chapati, moong dal with methi palak/fish curry (1 bowl), and raita
  • Evening snack: One glass of sattu drink
  • Dinner: Paneer/chicken brown rice, grilled vegetables, and curd
  • Bedtime: One glass of skimmed milk

Day 2

  • Early morning: Lemon water with four soaked almonds
  • Breakfast: Paneer paratha/egg paratha, green chutney, and curd/buttermilk
  • Lunch: Jowar roti, soybean curry/chicken curry, and veggie salad
  • Evening snack: Boiled chana masala chaat
  • Dinner: Grilled tofu/grilled chicken, sauteed veggies with tomato soup
  • Bedtime: One glass of skimmed milk 

Day 3

  • Early morning: Soaked raisins with water
  • Breakfast: Broken wheat upma with veggies
  • Lunch: Paneer bhurji/egg bhurji, chapati, chana salad, and buttermilk
  • Evening snack: One apple with almond butter/peanut butter
  • Dinner: Brown rice with moong dal and grilled tofu/fish
  • Bedtime: One glass of skimmed milk

Day 4

  • Early morning: Soaked walnuts and almonds
  • Breakfast: Egg sandwich/tofu sandwich and chia pudding
  • Lunch: Chole/fish curry with chapati, vegetable raita, and palak matar sabzi
  • Evening snack: Sattu buttermilk/sattu smoothie
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken/low fat paneer with roasted veggies and quinoa
  • Bedtime: One glass of turmeric milk

Day 5

  • Early morning: Chia seed lemon water
  • Breakfast: Mushroom omelette/vegetable besan cheela with multigrain bread
  • Lunch: Chickpea salad with chapati, mixed veg sabzi, and buttermilk
  • Evening snack: Fruit and nut yoghurt
  • Dinner: Millet  khichdi with stir-fried green veg
  • Bedtime: One glass of skimmed milk

Day 6

  • Early morning: Soaked raisins with water
  • Breakfast: Millet idli/dosa with sambar and coconut chutney
  • Lunch: Sprouts sabzi/egg curry with chapati, sattu buttermilk, and salad
  • Evening snack: Roasted makhana
  • Dinner: Grilled paneer/chicken taco with veggies and guacamole & salsa
  • Bedtime: One glass of skimmed milk

Day 7

  • Early morning: Lemon water
  • Breakfast: Vegetable Upma
  • Lunch: Rajma/chicken keema with chapati, curd/raita, and paneer salad
  • Evening snack: Peanut and chana bhel
  • Dinner: Bajra roti with lobia curry and tomato soup
  • Bedtime: Dry fruits with milk

This 7-day high protein diet plan provides adequate nutrition while helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

Tips to Increase Your Protein Intake 

  • Add protein to every meal: Dividing your protein intake throughout the day can help to digest it better and will not cause any digestive issues. 
  • Choose unprocessed carbs: Instead of processed carbohydrates, include protein-rich grains such as quinoa or amaranth. 
  • Eat protein-rich snacks: Snacking can be irresistible and never-ending hence try incorporating protein-rich snacks that will help you feel full. 
  • Start with protein: To avoid overeating, start your meals with salads and protein and then move on to carbs, as it keeps you full for a long time. 
  • Opt for Lean animal protein: Lean animal protein contains less saturated fat, which is beneficial to keep the bad cholesterol away.

Summary 

To increase protein intake, have a small portion of protein in each meal, choose protein-rich grains and snacks, begin your meals with protein instead of carbs, and have lean animal protein to limit saturated fat intake.

HealthifyMe Suggestions

If you want to add more protein to your diet, try making nuts and seeds chutney or dips with flaxseed, peanut, and sesame, which you can relish with cutlets, sandwiches, or other snacks. Adding nuts and seeds to salad or soup is another great way to incorporate proteins and get that extra crunch. 

The Final Word

While a high protein diet is a great way to induce weight loss, it is also crucial to not restrict the intake of other nutrients or starve yourself. Moreover,  plant and animal-based protein sources are reliable, and you can choose them according to availability. Individuals with several chronic health conditions should avoid having a high-protein diet and, in such cases, always consult a healthcare provider. One must also remember that it requires more than seven days to see visible results. Moreover, along with a diet plan, it is necessary to develop a healthy lifestyle to speed up the weight loss progress.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is a 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss?

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A: A 7-day protein diet plan for weight loss aims to increase the protein intake more than the recommended amount of 10 -15% to 25% of calories from protein. At the same time,s there is a relative reduction of carbohydrate and fat content in the diet to induce weight loss.

Q: How much weight can I expect to lose on a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: Well, the weight loss isn’t severe and requires time, but a low-calorie diet, high protein intake, and healthy lifestyle modifications may cause a healthy weight loss of nearly half to 1 kg in a week. Avoid aiming for maximum weight loss in a short period, as it might be harmful.

Q: What are the benefits of following a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: A 7-day protein diet plan is beneficial in gaining muscle mass, increasing metabolic rate, and keeping you full for a long time. A protein-rich diet can also keep your sugar levels in control, lowers blood pressure, and is not harmful to healthy kidneys. 

Q: What foods are included in a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: All food groups are involved, primarily animal-based proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, milk, curd, cheese, and yoghurt. Also, plant-based proteins such as amaranth, quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds are included generously in a 7-day protein diet plan. 

Q: Can vegetarians and vegans follow a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: Numerous plant-based sources are present, such as grains, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds for vegans and vegetarians. In addition to this, vegetarians can also add dairy products like milk, cheese, curd, and yoghurt. But vegans should especially use only high-quality protein sources to avoid being deficient.

Q: How many calories should I consume on a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: It depends upon a person’s sex, age, physical activity levels, and health condition, and hence the calories might vary from one person to another. 

Q: Can I exercise while on a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: Yes, moderate to light exercise can be beneficial in assisting with weight loss but refrain from following an extreme exercise regimen.

Q: How often should I eat on a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: Dividing your meals into three main meals and 2-3 smaller meals is recommended while following any diet plan, as it helps you feel full. 

Q: Is a 7-day protein diet plan safe for long-term weight loss?

A: One can use it for long-term weight loss as it keeps you satisfied, reduces your cravings, burns more calories, and reduces fat mass, but one must keep the protein intake to an optimum range. 

Q: What should I do if I experience any adverse effects while on a 7-day protein diet plan?

A: If the 7-day protein diet plan doesn’t work out for you, then stop following it and consult a dietitian or a health expert immediately. 

Research Sources

1. FAO/WHO/UNU, Technical Report Series 935: Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition. WHO Press, Geneva, Switzerland. pp. 1-265, 2007.

https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43411

2. Bilsborough S, Mann N. A review of issues of dietary protein intake in humans. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Apr;16(2):129-52. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.16.2.129. PMID: 16779921.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16779921/

3. Gardner C.D., Hartle J.C., Garrett R.D., Offringa L.C., Wasserman A.S. Maximizing the intersection of human health and the health of the environment concern in the amount and type of protein produced and consumed in the United States. Nutr. Rev. 2019;77:197–215. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy073.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6394758/

4. The U S Department of Agriculture

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/

5. Bellavia A, Stilling F, Wolk A. High red meat intake and all-cause cardiovascular and cancer mortality: is the risk modified by fruit and vegetable intake? Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct;104(4):1137-1143. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.135335. Epub 2016 Aug 24. PMID: 27557655.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27557655/

6. Tappy L. Thermic effect of food and sympathetic nervous system activity in humans. Reprod Nutr Dev. 1996;36(4):391–7.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8878356/

7. Wycherley TP, Moran LJ, Clifton PM, Noakes M, Brinkworth GD. Effects of energy-restricted high-protein, low-fat compared with standard-protein, low-fat diets: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96(6):1281–98.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23097268/

8. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tome D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:21–41.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19400750/

9. Ko GJ, Rhee CM, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Joshi S. The Effects of High-Protein Diets on Kidney Health and Longevity. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Aug;31(8):1667-1679. DoI: 10.1681/ASN.2020010028. Epub 2020 Jul 15. PMID: 32669325; PMCID: PMC7460905.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460905/

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