Public perception is that you only need protein or protein powders if you are a weightlifter. I hear quite often “Well, I don’t want to get big, so I don’t need extra protein.”.
Research over the years has delivered new and improved science on what Protein actually does for our body. The word is slowly getting out on how increasing protein is also very beneficial for those looking to lose weight.
It is actually a major contributor to successful weight loss. There is a process that most people don’t know about and it is called “thermic effect” of food. It is defined as such: Your body increases its energy rate and calories burned when it digests the food you eat.
So, every time you eat a meal your metabolic rate increases because of the “thermic effect” that is taking place as a result of the food you are eating. Depending on the type of macronutrient you are eating your body burns a different about of calories.
For example your body burns more calories when you eat protein than it does when you eat carbohydrates and fat.
The body only burns around 4-7 calories for every 100 calories of carbs or 100 calories of fat that you eat. When you eat 100 calories of protein though you body is required to burn roughly 24-27 calories to digest the protein you eat.
If you break it down to net calories you are only netting around 70% of the protein calories that you consume and net around 93-96% of the fat and carbs that you eat.
When it comes to weight loss this is significant.
At the University of Illinois back in 2005 they looked at two diets with exercise. One diet was a high-protein, reduced carb diet and the other diet was a low protein, high carb diet.
The participants in the higher protein diet lost more total weight and fat than those in the low protein group.
This study along with other research studies have replicated the results showing that when you consume a higher protein diet of at least 1.5 gms per kg of bodyweight it may improve your weight loss.
Here are 4 Reasons Why Increasing Protein Intake Is Beneficial In Reaching Your Bodyweight Goals
1. Satiety and Fullness
2. Increased metabolism or metabolic rate. (you speed up your metabolism with the thermic effect of food.)
3. Lose less lean muscle
4. Body uses more of the sugars for energy instead of storing them as fat.
When you consume lower carbohydrates your body ends up with blood glucose levels that are lower which helps to keep your insulin levels in check and prevent fat storage.
The increased protein intake also helps to control your body’s insulin signal and how it stores carbs as fat. Increased protein also stimulates your glucagon hormone which is a counteracting hormone to insulin. When glucagon is elevated it decreases the insulin hormone and this also helps minimize fat storage.
Are You Eating Enough Protein?
If you are a man I am going to guess that you eat enough protein, but if you are a women based on my years of working with clients that you do not eat enough protein.
The biggest barrier to eating more protein is that some people are just not meat lovers. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does make it harder to consume the suggested quantities of protein to help with losing weight.
This is where proper supplementation plays an important role in reaching your goals. Whey protein which you have probably heard of is a great complement to your diet when you are looking to increase your protein intake.
There is also research that has been published showing that whey protein consumed between meals may help you eat significantly less food than if you were consume other protein shakes.
They believe the reason for this is because whey protein increases the levels of hunger hormones such as glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin more than a casein protein shake does.
Now that you know why protein is so beneficial to speeding up weight loss you also now know that you don’t have to be a big meat eater to get the benefits of protein.