Proteins for weight loss have been sung from the heavens since I can remember! I can still hear my my mother saying to my sister and I, “Sherrie and Kellie! You want to loose weight? Protein! Eat protein!" In fact, high protein diets were a a household name. I never understood WHY, but now I do.
Just look at the science:
In a recent German study, researchers discovered “test subjects eating a high protein diet lost 200% as much weight as the normal protein group”. YOWZA
See what I mean? If you understand the science of WHY proteins are good for weight loss, you will never question again why you are eating another dry chicken breast again. You will know without a doubt that eating protein, high amounts of protein, can help you lose weight and keep it off for the long haul.
The beautiful thing about science is that science explains HOW proteins work: protein for weight loss, protein to keep the weight off, proteins to boost metabolism, proteins for satiety, proteins to minimize cravings and protein to reduce hunger are many of the weight management benefits you can obtain by eating high protein foods.
So, right off the bat, I would like to share another report with you from The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The Harvard School of Public Health (Department of Nutrition) found convincing evidence which supports that eating high amounts of protein vs low amounts of protein leads to eating less, feeling fuller, burning fat and increased weight loss. You can read the abstract of the report here.
Science has shown us that getting enough protein can help you burn fat more than any other nutrient. Higher protein intake can lead to more than double the weight loss, independent of the amount of calories!
I know, it sounds too good to be true. But, all these researchers and studies can't be wrong! Can they? Do you believe yet? Raise your hand if you do. Good.
Now it is time for me to get really Professor on you and dig deeper into the science as to why high protein foods work to help you lose weight.
1. Eating High Protein Foods Means Less Hunger Pangs, Less Cravings and More Weight Loss!
Proteins reduce hunger and keep you full for a longer time. Keeping you full for a longer time means inducing satiety! Induced satiety means you just might eat less! And when you eat less, you may lose weight.
When I weighed 200 pounds, at the tender age of 16 and 17, my breakfast consisted of 4 empty calorie honey buns. After a couple of hours, I was starving. No wonder, I was eating high fat, high carb, high sugar foods. All the wrong choices.
In a recent study on obese adolescents, it was determined that a high protein breakfast promoted weight loss most likely through it's balancing of satiety which led to less food intake and suppression of appetite hormones. (See what I mean?)
Oh, if only I had listened to my mother! You can read the condensed version here. of why this works.
Proteins manipulate your body into secreting some miraculous hormones that help your body in achieving this state!
Cholecystokinin, Peptide YY and GLP-1 are such hormones. They are secreted by your gut to maintain appetite and food cravings. After you eat protein, these hormones flood your blood stream and reach your brain to shut down appetite signals.
They also slow down the movement of food down your digestive system so that digestion occurs slowly and you don’t get hungry very fast. Science also shows that they induce the feeling of fullness by suppressing your appetite. So, when these hormones are high in your blood, they keep you away from food!
There’s another hormone Ghrelin but it is supposed to enhance appetite. When this hormone levels rise in your body, you feel hungry!! Science says high protein food tones down the level of Ghrelin in your body and reduces hunger.
I would like you to go back and read the last three paragraphs again. Please remember what you just learned.
The Incredible Power of Protein
You discovered how proteins subtly manipulate your body into producing a hormone balance that promotes weight management. Proteins reduce secretion of appetite enhancers (Ghrelin) and elevate the levels of appetite suppressors (PYY and Cholecystokinins). This phenomenon controls your hunger, reduces your food intake and make you lose extra pounds!
And the LESS you EAT, the MORE you LOSE!! So, next time you wonder how does protein support weight loss and weight management? Remember this: BY TONING DOWN YOUR HUNGER!
2. Eating Protein Rich Food Minimizes Fat Production even Belly Fat!
Peptide YY is a hormone produced by your gut after you eat. It not only reduces hunger by binding to the receptors in your brain but also reduce fat production.
Long-term consumption of high protein foods enhance plasma levels of Peptide YY that tend to tone down adiposity (fat production).
And as obvious as it is: LESSER THE FAT PRODUCTION, LESSER THE FAT ON YOUR BODY!
Now, to the tummie fat! Protein rich foods are known to cut down your belly fat and play a crucial role in weight loss and weight management. So, now, if you want to, you can get rid of the abdominal fats inflicting your belly area.
3. Eat More Protein, Burn More Calories!
The golden rule for weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. When you are feeling full and satisfied, you tend to eat less. Less calories in, more body fat to burn.
Since we have already explored how proteins reduce calories intake by maintaining a hormonal balance that leads to hunger suppression, now it’s time to discuss calories out!
I think the following test results say it all:
Women consuming a high protein diet, focusing on
proteins for weight loss, lost 3x more weight and over 6 times more fat that the standard or normal protein group of dieters. Even more interesting is that both groups consumed the same amount of calories...the only difference, is that the high protein diet group ate more protein to get their calories as compared to the normal protein group..who ate fewer protein calories but more fat and carbs.
How does it achieve that?
By high Thermic effect of food!
Thermic effect of food means the number of calories used for digestion process. When you consume anything, it needs to be digested to extract energy out of it. But first, the digestion requires energy! So, if thermic effect of food is high, more calories will be used for digestion and there will be lesser amount of calories left for consumption and storage.
A protein rich diet has the highest thermic effect. It uses 20-35% of calories for digestion, in contrast to carbohydrates and fats that require 0-15%. So, if you consume proteins worth 100 calories, 25-35 will be used for digestion and only 65-75 will be left for consumption. What this means for carbs and fats is this: 100 calories consumed means 0-15 calories burned and 85 to 100 calories left over.
Proteins “burn” more calories! Couple it with a bit of physical activity, rest, water, plus fresh veggies and low sugar fruit and you’re good to go! This reduces the number of calories that will be stored in your body eventually in the form of fats.
Science proves that thermic effect of food also has potent effect on inducing satiety. Since proteins have highest thermic effect, their capability of inducing satiety is also highest.
High protein foods increase energy expenditure by another way too: by boosting metabolism. They burn out more calories because they enhance the level of metabolism in your body which carbohydrates or fats can’t do. Science has also proved this effect. So, when you eat less calories and burn more, weight loss becomes an ultimate result!
4. Proteins For Weight Loss = No late night cravings!
One of the dieter’s worst enemies is late night cravings. (That's one reason why I drink Triple K in the morning and afternoon!) Like all the food you had eaten the whole day wasn’t enough to disturb your weight management! But you can kill this enemy by befriending proteins.
Yes, there’s another answer to how high protein foods support weight loss. They cut down your night time cravings.
Another study also proves that protein rich diet cuts down your desert consumption. Almost every dieter faces this issue of snacking on chocolates and other savory foods. They are full of calories and significantly affect your weight management routine. So, not only your night time snacking stays less but also your sugar consumption stays healthy. What more could have you asked for?
Here’s one of the many side perks of eating high protein foods.
Losing weight often goes hard on your muscle mass. While struggling for shedding some extra pounds, your muscle mass typically decreases. Proteins make sure it doesn’t happen!
If you use high protein foods to help you lose weight, you will lose fat but your muscle mass will stay intact. It’s because protein consumption helps you in losing weight by targeting calories instead of muscles! In fact, proteins increase muscle mass which in turn boost metabolism (more muscles means more mitochondria to burn calories). That ensures more calorie burn out!!
How much protein do you need?
Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for proteins is 0.36 per pound of your weight. But if you are going to use proteins for weight loss, it is recommended to increase your daily protein intake. I would suggest making it 0.5 to 1 gram per pound of your body weight.
I know, that is a lot of protein. So, in order for me to get enough protein to maintain my weight or lose a few when I need to, I supplement my daily protein intake with Triple K. A tasty and sinfully delicious high protein beverage mix with only 60 calories and 11 grams of collagen protein. The ratio of grams of protein vs. calories is terrific! You will get tons of protein without all the calories! You can read a bunch of testimonials here.
So, now you know how the how and why high protein foods help you lose weight. . Start supplementing your food with proteins NOW and lose extra pounds!