Yeah, you can get too much of a good thing. Sure, some foods are great for fat loss but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy them without limitation. I got into trouble along my fat loss journey by eating too much of a fat loss food. I slowed my progress way down until I figured out the mistake I was making. I was eating too much protein. I would say to myself, “surely I won’t get into trouble by having too much protein powder/salmon/chicken…” And then I did. Haha. But it was a very powerful lesson for me and one I wanted to share with you guys!
Protein is a critical part of a healthy, fat loss diet. Your body cannot manufacture protein therefore you need to consume it daily to ensure you have what you need. Protein helps to satisfy your hunger and reduce cravings. It helps to build and repair muscle. However, there is such thing as too much of a good thing! I went through a phase where I was eating probably 6-10 servings of protein every day. I didn’t really think too much about what your body does with that excess….
Excess protein can be stored as body fat. Excess protein can be broken down and converted to glucose, yielding a similar type of metabolic response we see with carbohydrates: fat storage, insulin and blood sugar increases, hunger and cravings.
Excessive protein intake can also be very taxing on your body. To metabolize protein, your kidneys need to remove the nitrogen from the amino acids (building blocks of all protein). This creates ammonia as a byproduct, which must be turned into waste by the liver and excreted in your urine. In moderate amounts its no problem – your body is equipped to handle that process efficiently. In excess, however, it can be burdensome.
Consuming too much protein can also lead to dehydration because the process of protein metabolism requires more water than carbohydrate or fat metabolism.
Finally, if you’re consuming excessive amounts of protein, you’re probably doing so at the expense of other important nutrients like dietary fat. You always want to work towards balance. An excess of any one macronutrient can create problems for your health and your weight loss efforts.
So how can you ensure that you aren’t eating too much protein while also making sure that you’re getting enough? Be sure to include a serving of protein with each meal. Eggs are a great combination of fat and protein for breakfast. Chicken, fish and beef are fantastic protein sources for the rest of the day. Don’t worry that consuming protein at each meal will lead to “excessive intake” – it wont – so long as you keep your portions to about the size of the palm of your hand. There’s no need to double or triple up on your protein servings. If you’re still hungry go for more non-starchy vegetables or increase your fat intake.