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How does protein help in weight loss?

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many aspects of our health, including weight management. If you're looking to lose weight, incorporating protein into your diet can be an effective strategy. In this post, we'll explore how protein can help with weight loss and provide some tips for incorporating it into your diet.

First, it's important to understand that weight loss is the result of creating a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. While many factors can affect weight loss, including genetics and physical activity levels, diet is one of the most important.



One of the main ways in which protein can help with weight loss is by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing appetite. Several studies have shown that protein can help to reduce appetite and calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of daily calories led to significant reductions in calorie intake and body weight in overweight and obese individuals (1).


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Protein is also important for maintaining muscle mass during weight loss. When you lose weight, it's important to ensure that you're losing fat rather than muscle. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, so getting enough of it can help to preserve muscle mass during weight loss. This is especially important for people who are also engaging in resistance exercise, as protein can help to build and repair muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise (2).


In addition to its effects on appetite and muscle mass, protein has several other benefits that can help with weight loss. For example, protein has a high thermic effect, which means that it requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fat. This means that your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting other types of nutrients. This can help to increase the number of calories you burn each day, which can contribute to weight loss (3).



So, how can you incorporate protein into your diet to help with weight loss? There are many ways to get protein, including through both animal and plant-based sources. Some good options include:

  • Lean meats, such as chicken and turkey

  • Fish, such as salmon and tuna

  • Eggs

  • Dairy products, such as milk and Greek yogurt

  • Beans and legumes

  • Nuts and seeds

It's important to choose high-quality protein sources that are also low in calories and saturated fat. Aim to get at least 20-30 grams of protein per meal, and be sure to spread your protein intake throughout the day.

In conclusion, protein is an important nutrient that can help with weight loss in several ways. By increasing feelings of fullness and reducing appetite, preserving muscle mass, and increasing the thermic effect of food, protein can be a valuable addition to your weight loss diet. By incorporating protein-rich foods into your meals and snacks, you can support your weight loss efforts and improve your overall health.



References:

  1. Leidy, H. J., Mattes, R. D., Campbell, W. W., & Fu, M. (2007). The influence of higher protein intake and greater eating frequency on appetite control in overweight and obese men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(5), 1354-1359.

  2. Phillips, S. M. (2014). Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of Sports


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


How much protein should I eat a day to lose weight ?


The amount of protein you need each day to support weight loss will depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, weight, and activity level. However, as a general guideline, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults aim for a daily protein intake of at least 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.


For someone who weighs 68 kilograms (150 pounds), this would mean a daily protein intake of about 55 grams. However, many people who are trying to lose weight may benefit from consuming more protein, as protein can help to promote feelings of fullness and preserve muscle mass during weight loss.


It's important to choose high-quality protein sources, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and low-fat dairy products, and to pair protein with healthy carbohydrates and fats to create a balanced meal.


It's also important to keep in mind that reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity are key components of a weight loss program, and simply increasing protein intake without making other changes may not lead to significant weight loss. If you have any concerns or are uncertain about how much protein to eat for weight loss, it's a good idea to speak with a registered dietitian.


Does protein help burn fat ?


Yes, protein can help with fat loss in several ways.


First, protein is more thermogenic than carbohydrates and fats, meaning that your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does processing other macronutrients. This can help to increase overall metabolism and support weight loss.


Second, protein is satiating, which means that it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. This can help to reduce overall calorie intake and prevent overeating, which is a common factor in weight gain.


Third, protein helps to preserve muscle mass during weight loss. When you lose weight, your body tends to lose both fat and muscle mass, but consuming adequate amounts of protein can help to minimize muscle loss and maximize fat loss.


It's important to keep in mind that reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity are key components of a weight loss program, and simply increasing protein intake without making other changes may not lead to significant weight loss. If you have any concerns or are uncertain about how much protein to eat for weight loss, it's a good idea to speak with a registered dietitian.




Does protein melt belly fat?


Protein alone may not specifically target belly fat, but it can still play a role in reducing overall body fat, including belly fat.


As mentioned earlier, protein is more thermogenic than carbohydrates and fats, meaning that your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does processing other macronutrients. Additionally, protein is satiating, which means that it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, and can help to reduce overall calorie intake and prevent overeating, which is a common factor in weight gain and accumulation of belly fat.


It's also important to keep in mind that reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity are key components of a weight loss program, and simply increasing protein intake without making other changes may not lead to significant fat loss, including belly fat. To specifically target belly fat, it is important to adopt a well-balanced diet that includes protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, as well as engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


If you have any concerns or are uncertain about how to effectively target belly fat, it's a good idea to speak with a registered dietitian or a healthcare professional.



Do 2 eggs give enough protein ?