How Protein Helps With Weight Loss
Several studies show that protein helps people with weight loss even without changing anything else in their diet . It supports lean muscle mass while reducing body fat, and it helps people feel fuller for longer so that they are less likely to snack. One study found that eating a high protein diet divided into six meals a day decreased body fat and abdominal body fat.
Protein may also help with weight loss maintenance. Higher protein diets may be easier to maintain than other changes in macronutrients and therefore help people continue to eat well and maintain weight loss.
But what is it about protein that makes it so effective for weight loss? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.
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When To Consume Protein
In general, the body can only process so much protein at one time. For maximum benefit consume 25 to 30 grams of protein with meals and snacks throughout the day. You could break 150g of protein down into three meals and two snacks each consisting of 30g of protein. Its important to consume protein as part of your first meal of the day. Especially if youre trying to maintain muscle mass.
How exactly you structure your protein intake is up to you and will vary based on your food preferences, whether you work from home or office, live in a van, or have other dietary restrictions. One thing that will help you consume enough protein is being intentional about your meal choices and meal prepping. If you leave your nutrition up to whatever you come across, holiday cookies, the office birthday cake, and french fries will find their way into your life. If youre serious about getting in shape, staying in shape, and hitting your macronutrient goals, fill your fridge with healthy foods. Youll quickly find youre more easily filling your stomach with them, too.
Use More Calories To Digest Foods
When you eat, your body burns calories as it breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and turns food into energy for your body. This is called the thermic effect of food .
Your body burns more calories digesting protein than carbohydrates, so protein has a higher TEF. Just by eating protein, youre already burning more calories. Thats good news if youre trying to burn an extra 500 calories each day in order to lose weight.
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You Need To Go Low On Carbohydrates And High On Protein During Weight Loss Journey
This is another weight loss diet trap that seems to be true, but its not. The expert points out that carbohydrates are important for your gut health. They feed the bacteria in your gut health which helps to improve metabolism. You need to eat the right carbohydrates which are complex carbohydrates like whole grains and pulses. Fruits are also great for weight loss. So, have some apples, prunes or and bananas. Just make sure that you dont go low on carbohydrates and restrict yourself too much. Ranglani warns that if you do that, you may start eating all the wrong foods in excess and nullify the effect of low-carbohydrate diet. Her advice is that you should do something thats sustainable.
Maintaining The Weight You Lose
Getting the right amount of protein as part of a balanced diet is only part of the goal when it comes to achieving a healthy weight. The rest involves changing unhealthy lifestyle habits and exercising regularly to stay healthy.
No matter what kind of diet youre on, its almost always going to be more successful with that exercise component, Pratt states. You also have to maintain that calorie deficit to maintain your weight loss over time. Adding protein to your diet can help you meet your nutrient needs and your health goals, day by day.
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Protein Reduces Appetite And Makes You Eat Fewer Calories
Protein can reduce hunger and appetite via several different mechanisms .
This can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
In other words, you end up eating fewer calories without having to count calories or consciously control portions.
Numerous studies have shown that when people increase their protein intake, they start eating fewer calories.
This works on a meal-to-meal basis, as well as a sustained day-to-day reduction in calorie intake as long as protein intake is kept high .
In one study, protein at 30% of calories caused people to automatically drop their calorie intake by 441 calories per day, which is a huge amount .
So, high protein diets not only have a metabolic advantage they also have an appetite advantage, making it much easier to cut calories compared to lower protein diets.
High-protein diets are highly satiating, so they lead to reduced hunger and appetite compared to lower protein diets. This makes it much easier to restrict calories on a high-protein diet.
Protein Preserves Lean Body Mass As You Lose Weight
As mentioned earlier, protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass. If you cut calories and drop weight, you could lose muscle mass instead of fat. This is one reason calorie-restricted diets aren’t always the best idea.
Protein helps preserve lean body mass as you lose weight, even when calories are restricted. Several studies found that individuals who increased their protein intake lost more fat mass and less muscle mass than those who didn’t increase protein.
Lean muscle is also metabolically active compared to fat tissue, so you can positively impact your metabolism by preserving muscle.
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/6high Protein Diet For Vegetarians
When it comes to weight loss, eating a high protein diet is extremely important. Not only does it help reduce appetite, but it also avoids overeating. However, given that non-vegetarian foods and dairy products are some of the best sources of protein, vegetarians may find it difficult to fulfill their daily consumption. But not to worry! We have got you covered with some of the best and easy to prepare high protein vegetarian recipes.
Other Beneficial Effects Of Protein
In addition to its favorable effects on weight, protein may help improve health in several other ways:
- Increase muscle mass: Studies have shown a higher protein intake can increase muscle size and strength when combined with resistance training .
- Reduce muscle loss during aging: Many people lose muscle as they age. One study found that adding a daily protein shake helped protect muscle health in healthy older men and those with age-related muscle loss .
- Strengthen bones: Higher protein intake may promote bone health. In one study, older women with the highest intake of animal protein experienced a whopping 69% reduced risk of hip fracture .
- Improve wound healing: Studies have shown that high-protein diets can enhance the healing of wounds related to surgery or injury, including bedsores .
Research suggests a high protein intake can help build muscle, protect against bone and muscle loss during aging and improve wound healing.
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What Protein Is And Why We Need It
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays many roles in the body. Most notably, it is responsible for the growth and repair of tissues. Every cell in the body contains protein, and it is used to build and maintain muscle, skin, hair, and nails.
Additionally, protein is essential for making enzymes and hormones, and it helps to transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Without protein, our bodies would simply not be able to function properly, which is why the body will break down its own muscle to use for essential functions if the diet isn’t providing enough.
Protein is made up of smaller units called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that the body needs to function, and 9 of these are considered essential because the body cannot produce them on its own. This means that we must get them from the foods we eat.
Best Protein Powder For Weight Loss For Women
Protein is extracted from a variety of food sources to create protein powders, a type of dietary supplement. To make a shake or smoothie, you can combine liquid ingredients with the protein powder that has been processed. But protein powders can do more than just help you gain muscle they can also aid in weight loss. Yes, they can help you lose inches from your waist as well as burn more calories throughout the day. However, you need to be aware of which protein powders to use. Otherwise, using the incorrect product could make your efforts to lose weight fail.
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How To Get More Protein In Your Diet
Increasing your protein intake is simple. Just eat more of protein-rich foods.
Even though eating more protein is simple when you think about it, actually integrating this into your life and nutrition plan can be difficult.
I recommend that you use a calorie/nutrition tracker in the beginning. Weigh and measure everything you eat in order to make sure that you are hitting your protein targets.
You dont need to do this forever, but it is very important in the beginning until you get a good idea of what a high-protein diet looks like.
There are many high-protein foods you can eat to boost your protein intake. It is recommended to use a nutrition tracker in the beginning to make sure that you are getting enough.
Casein Can Keep You Fuller For Longer
Similar to whey protein, casein is milk-based and contains all the essential amino acids. However, it is absorbed slowly in the body .
Casein has also been linked to improved body composition and increased feelings of fullness.
Among male athletes, taking 70 grams of casein in the morning and evening over 8 weeks increased lean muscle mass by an average of 2.4 pounds .
Compared to whey protein, casein does not seem to be as effective at increasing muscle mass. However, it does appear more effective than other protein supplement sources, such as soy and wheat protein .
When it comes to satiety, whey protein is absorbed quickly and can enhance feelings of fullness. Casein is digested more slowly and may keep you fuller over a longer period of time .
One study followed overweight men on a weight loss diet that included either whey or casein supplements. After 12 weeks, those taking casein supplements lost an average of 8% of their body weight. Those taking whey lost an average of 4% .
However, this study was small and the evidence is mixed.
Other studies comparing the effects of casein and whey found no significant difference in weight loss or body composition in the long-term, making them equally as good for weight loss .
Casein is absorbed slowly, so may be more satiating in the long-term. Taking it regularly has been linked to weight loss and improved body composition.
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Whats The Difference Between Grass
As you likely noticed in the list above, some lactose-free protein powders state on the label that they are made with milk from grass-fed cows, while others do not. Whats the difference between these two protein powders? Is one better than the other?
When it comes to nutrition, theres virtually no difference between the protein that comes from a grass-fed cow compared to the protein that comes from a conventionally raised cow. Some people might quibble about the differences in omega-3 fatty acid ratios or CLA concentration in products from grass-fed cows vs. conventionally raised cows, but the differences are actually very small. They also dont really matter when were talking about protein powder.
There is still a case to be made for choosing grass-fed protein over non-grass-fed protein, though. This is because grass-fed cows are generally treated in more humane ways than non-grass-fed cows. Grass-fed cows place less of a strain on the environment than conventionally raised cows, too .
For those who have concerns about animal welfare, choosing to invest in a protein powder made with products from grass-fed cows can be a good way to vote with your dollars. This allows you to show your support for farmers who are raising their cattle in a more ethical and sustainable way.
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How Much Protein To Eat And How Much Is Too Much
So 56g has been thrown down as a baseline. This Healthline article suggests up to .75g per pound maximizes the benefits of protein consumption. More than this and the benefits fall off. So, if you weigh 175 pounds, shoot for 130g of protein per day. For many of us, this is plenty, and fitting that much protein into our diet can be challenging. However, in some spheres, .75g/pound is still low. Professional bodybuilders, for example, consume anywhere from 1g to 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Eating too much protein can have negative effects though.
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How Much Protein Do You Need For Weight Loss
If youre trying to lose weight, you need to make sure youre getting enough protein. Protein helps with satiety and can help boost your metabolism. Its also essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, which is key for burning calories.
How much protein you need depends on your weight, activity level, and goals. The general recommendation is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight . So, if you weigh 150 pounds , you would need 54 grams of protein daily.
If youre very active or trying to build muscle, you may need more protein. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight for athletes and active people . So, if you weigh 150 pounds , you would need 102-136 grams of protein daily.
There are many high-protein foods that can help you meet your daily needs. Here are some of the best options:
- Eggs: One large egg has six grams of protein, making them a great option for breakfast or a snack.
- Chicken: A three-ounce serving of cooked chicken breast contains 27 grams of protein. Chicken is a versatile option that can be used in a variety of recipes or simply eaten on its own.
- Fish: Salmon is a particularly good option because its also high in healthy
How To Choose A Good Protein Powder For Weight Gain For Your Needs
Heres a look at some things to consider when selecting a protein powder for weight gain.
- Protein content: Look for a protein powder or mass gainer that contains at least 30 grams of protein per serving. Protein is essential for muscle growth and development, so youll want to make sure youre getting enough.ake sure youre getting enough.
- Carbohydrate content: Protein powders for weight gain typically contain high levels of carbs, which can help replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle growth. However, if youre trying to gain minimal fat while gaining muscle, or are watching your carb intake, you may want to choose one with lower carb levels.
- Calorie content: Most protein powders for weight gain are high in calories, which is necessary for those trying to bulk up.
- Ingredients: Take a look at the ingredient list to see whats actually in the product. Avoid products that contain fillers, artificial flavors or sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients.
- Third-Party Testing: Many products do third-party testing, so you know youre getting what youre supposed to. Some of the more well-known organizations that do this testing include NSF International, Eurofins Scientific and USP.
- Cost: Protein powders for weight gain can be expensive, so its important to find one that fits into your budget. There are a variety of quality products on the market, so you should be able to find one thats affordable.
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The Benefits Of Protein For Weight Loss Explained
While the research cannot conclusively determine that dietary protein alone promotes weight loss or that high protein diets are the best approach to losing weight, what weve seen so far is fairly compelling.
It is becoming more apparent that higher protein intake potentially has some serious benefits for dieters.
There are three main arguments for why you should consider consuming more protein when looking to shed pounds.
A Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease
One study linked diets rich in healthy plant foods with a significantly lower risk of heart disease.
Another found that following a diet rich in plant foods and lower in animal foods was associated with a 16 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 31 to 32 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
There are several factors in play here, including the fact that plant-based diets can decrease cholesterol levels and lower inflammation, according to a case report.
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Best App For Sticking With A Plant
Oh She Glows is also our pick for the best app for sticking with a plant-based diet. For many, the hardest part about eating this way is coming up with things to eat for every meal of the day. Thats why this app is such a lifesaver. You can search for recipes by title, ingredient, meal, or dish type. Each recipe featured in the app also includes detailed nutritional information. Finally, you can favorite the recipes you try and love so you can come back to them again and again.
Best Book About Plant
This 2021 title is a cross between an explainer that argues eating plant-based is the best for overall well-being and a step-by-step guide to adopting this lifestyle in a months time. The science comes from author Alan Desmond, MD, and the 80 recipes to help you transition into this new way of eating come courtesy of chef Bob Andrews.
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