We’ve all seen the gym rats drinking their protein shakes pre and post-workout but unbeknownst to most, they’re burning even more calories (and more throughout the day) than just what they burn in their workout. Yet high protein diets have been glamourized and chastised by the media for the past several years. The no-carb and low-carb trend has peaked and troughed on multiple occasions and it seems on every newsstand and in every in-box there’s a new advertisement for a new diet, a new way of losing weight, a new way of burning calories and a new way to fight hunger.
However, it’s really all scientific. When higher amounts of protein are ingested, the body burns more calories. Why? Because protein takes longer to digest (which is why it keeps you feeling fuller, for longer) and requires more energy by the digestive system to process. And what are calories? Energy. Putting the equation all together equates to the more protein consumed, the more calories burned.
Does this mean that in order to lose weight one must consume a high-protein diet?
Yes and no.
A high-protein diet will definitely aid in weight loss but the calories burned while digesting foods high in protein do not negate the calories in the actual foods themselves.
For example, if you were to eat a piece of grilled chicken that is 120 calories and contains 20 grams of protein, it would spike your metabolism and keep you feeling fuller longer than to say if you were to eat a banana. However, your body does not require the full 120 calories to digest the grilled chicken, but it does require more calories to digest chicken than it does a banana. This is why a high protein diet does create the “thermic” effect and spikes the metabolic rate, just not to the point where it negates the calories. Yet it does aid in weight loss and is vital in maintaining a lean and toned physique.
Athletes and those who maintain a strict workout regimen are always eating eggs or meat in the morning to get their metabolism going and their digestive system up and running. For the average individual, this habit could aid in keeping them feeling fuller longer and boosting their metabolism as well.
The science behind the benefits of a high-protein diet is why the Complete Spine Solutions diet works so well. The Complete Spine Solutions diet integrates protein supplements with lean meats, eggs, and salads to keep the dieter feeling full and the metabolism constantly revved.
About the Author
Dr. David Shapiro, DC, CEO of Complete Spine Solutions
A graduate of Life University, School of Chiropractic 1993 (4600 postgraduate hours). Board certified licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. Passed 3 national board tests and the state of Georgia board examination. Also certified in therapeutic modalities.
Advanced Certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics, the most evidence-based technique in chiropractic. He’s been in private practice for over 25 years.