For weight loss, protein is hailed as the superstar macro-nutrient that can help you feel full, sculpt those muscles, and keep excess pounds at bay. We’re often reminded that a protein-rich diet is vital for maintaining a healthy weight and fighting off those pesky cravings. But here’s a twist in the story – not all protein sources are created equal. Some protein-rich foods, with all their apparent goodness, may actually be stealthy weight gain culprits, especially when consumed in excess.
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Before you fill up your weight loss diet with high-protein foods, remember this: too much of a good thing can be, well, not so good for you. Sure, we need our protein, but we also need to keep an eye on the calories and fats that tag along.
Do you gain weight if you eat too much protein?
Now, you might be wondering if eating too much protein can lead to weight gain. Well, here’s the lowdown. According to a report in Healthline, any excess protein your body doesn’t use for muscle-building is typically stored as fat. Additionally, the surplus amino acids are shown the exit door, but here’s the catch – this process can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you’re overindulging in calories while trying to up your protein game for a weight loss diet.
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How much protein do you need in a day?
Nutritionist Deepti Jain tells us that an adult needs 0.8-1 gram of protein per kg of weight. This can vary depending on the kind of physical activity one has during the day. An adult with 65kg weight should get 52-65 grams of protein in a single day.
So, while high-protein foods are good for you, overdoing them could be bad news for your weight-loss diet. Now, let’s reveal some protein-rich foods that may not be as weight-friendly as you’d think.
Also Read: 5 Best Protein-Rich Vegetarian Foods To Fuel Your Weight Loss Journey
What Are Unhealthy Sources Of Protein? 8 Protein-Rich Foods That Are Not Good For Weight Loss Diet:
1. Packaged Yogurt:
Your supermarket’s dairy aisle might seem like a haven for protein-rich foods, with yogurts boasting about their high-protein content. But before you commit to daily yogurt binges, think twice. Many store-bought yogurts come loaded with preservatives, artificial flavours, and added sugars. They might look healthy, but they are far from it. Instead, go for homemade curd or yogurt to keep your diet clean and weight in check with healthy high-protein foods.
2. Protein Shakes:
Protein shakes are popular post-workout drinks, promising to repair and rejuvenate your muscles. Yet, don’t be fooled by their flashy labels and claims. Some protein shakes can be sugar-laden culprits in disguise of high-protein food. Always give your chosen brand’s label a thorough read before gulping it down after your sweat session. Choose wisely for your weight loss diet.
3. Protein-Packed Cereals:
Starting your day with a bowl of cereal might sound like a healthy choice. But many protein-rich foods like cereals also come with added sugars, which can leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more. Choose whole-grain, low-sugar high-protein foods to get your morning protein without the weight gain risk.
4. Processed Cheese:
Cheese, a beloved source of protein for many, comes in various forms. While cheese can be a good source of protein, the type of cheese you pick matters. Processed cheese, often found in convenient slices or spreads, is a definite no-no if your weight is on your mind. Loaded with hidden fats and additives, it’s a sneaky way to stack up calories. Choose natural and unprocessed cheese to include protein-rich foods in your weight loss diet.
5. Granola Bars:
You might be munching on granola bars thinking they’re a perfect protein snack, but hold on a minute. Many store-bought granola bars are packed with added sugars, fats, and a cocktail of other ingredients that can tip the scale against your favour. Instead, make your own granola bars with wholesome ingredients.
6. Fast-Food Salads:
Fast food chains have jumped on the healthy bandwagon by offering protein-packed salads. However, be cautious when ordering these salads. Many come with high-calorie dressings, croutons, and other add-ons that can sabotage your weight goals. Go for lighter dressings or go easy on the extras to keep your salad truly healthy and enjoy the high-protein food.
7. Flavoured Nuts:
Nuts are indeed a fantastic protein-rich food, but not all nuts are created equal. Flavoured and coated nuts often come with added sugars and unhealthy fats that can turn this otherwise wholesome snack into a calorie bomb. Stick to plain, unsalted nuts for your protein fix, and you’ll be on the right track.
8. Red Meat
Red meat, including mutton and pork, is often celebrated as a high-protein food, but it comes with some weighty concerns. Many cuts of red meat are high in saturated fats, which can be detrimental to your health and weight. While it’s okay to enjoy red meat occasionally, overindulging in fatty cuts and processed meats like sausages and bacon can lead to unwanted pounds. To include protein-rich foods in your weight loss diet, go for lean cuts and consider alternative protein sources like poultry, fish, or plant-based options to maintain a healthier weight.
Remember, it’s not just about the quantity of protein you consume but also the quality of the source. Enjoy your protein-rich foods, but do so in moderation and with mindfulness for a successful weight loss diet.