The Truth About Whether or Not All That Protein You're Eating Is Affecting Your Weight

When trying to lose weight, many people will turn to high-protein diets. Protein is good for you, right? It helps you feel fuller longer so you're less likely to overeat. It slows down the absorption of sugar, curbing those late-night junk-food cravings, plus it promotes muscle growth.

But recent studies have shown that there is another side to protein dieting. It is quite possible to eat too much protein. A few years ago, a study was published that showed that adults with diets made up of more than 20 percent protein saw a weight gain of 10 percent of their body weights, and too much protein does have the potential to contribute to the risk of both heart disease and high cholesterol levels.

"Your body can turn excess calories from too much protein into fat. Anything in excess can be harmful to you, so it's best to maintain moderation when it comes to your health," Boston University biology research graduate Alyssa Bunce told POPSUGAR. Bunce explains that the bottom line is to keep everything in check. Having chicken or fish for dinner is definitely better for weight loss than something high in carbs and fats; just be sure to get a proper portion of every food group and don't take in more calories than you need.

Conversely, for those looking to gain weight in a healthy manner, protein is a smart way to go. Just remember to be vigilant about continuing intake of other nutrients. Make a protein smoothie, eat salmon or red meat, and drink milk, but also be sure you're getting enough carbs and starches.

Whether you're looking to gain, lose, or maintain weight, it's always important to keep a balanced diet. Too much or too little of anything can be a bad thing.