Does Eating Protein Help You Lose Weight

Why Does Protein Make You Feel Full

How Eating More Protein Helps You Lose Weight

Eating protein reduces your appetite. This can help you take in fewer calories while boosting your metabolism to burn more calories. The reason that protein makes you feel full is partly because it reduces the hunger hormone, ghrelin, that your body produces.

Protein also reduces cravings for sugary foods. Thats likely because it improves and regulates the levels of dopamine in your body. Dopamine is a brain chemical that can boost your mood. Having too much or too little dopamine in your body can cause cravings.

Does Protein Make You Gain Weight What You Need To Know

How to use protein to meet your weight goals.

No doubt about it, protein is a nutritional powerhouse.

Like the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat, protein plays a unique and vital role in both your overall health and your day-to-day functioning. Its essential for building and maintaining muscle and other tissues, like bones, skin, and other organs.

And, protein isnt just for bodybuilders. Even if youre not actively trying to build muscle, getting adequate protein ensures that the muscle you have stays healthy.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the average person consume 10 to 35 percent of total calories from protein, and the minimum recommended amount is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight for a 185-pound man, thats just 67 grams per day.

However, as Men’s Health previous reported, consuming 20 to 30 percent of your calories from protein, which breaks down to about 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilogram, is a better goal. Thats between 90 and 120 grams of protein if you weigh 185 pounds.

But what about protein and weight gain? Because protein contains calories , it stands to reason that eating more protein can increase your calorie intake overall. And, consuming more calories than you burn each day is what leads to weight gain. That said, will increased protein consumption lead to weight gain?

We have answers.

What Are The Drawbacks

Too much protein can put strain on your kidneys. Cutting out too many carbohydrates can mean you dont get enough fibre and/ or vitamins and minerals.

High protein foods can be high in fat so some doctors argue a high-protein diet could be bad for your heart and cholesterol levels.

It might be hard for vegetarians to find enough different foods to eat.

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Maybe You Want To Lose Fat Or Gain Muscle Or Be Healthy

You just want to do the right thing and eat better. But with conflicting information about protein, you dont know what to think.

Or, if youre a fitness and nutrition coach, youre wondering how the heck to clear up the confusion about protein among your clients.

Lets get into it.In this article, well explore:

  • What are high-protein diets?
  • How much protein is right for me?

Why Might You Eat More Protein

Does eating protein with carbs help you lose weight?

Since we need protein to grow, maintain, and repair our tissues, hormones and immune system, there are times we need more protein.

The standard RDA of 0.8 g/kg is great if youre sedentary and not building or repairing your tissue.

But you may need more protein if you are:

  • physically active, either through workouts or your job
  • injured or sick
  • improve other indicators of cardiometabolic health.

Win all around.

Here are some specific scenarios that might call for more protein.

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Reduces Cravings And Desire For Late

A food craving is different from normal hunger.

It is not just about your body needing energy or nutrients but your brain needing a reward .

Yet, cravings can be incredibly hard to control. The best way to overcome them may be to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

One of the best prevention methods is to increase your protein intake.

One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and the desire to snack at night by half .

Likewise, a study in overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings and late-night snacking.

This may be mediated by an improvement in the function of dopamine, one of the main brain hormones involved in cravings and addiction (

more protein may reduce cravings and desire for late-night snacking. Merely having a high-protein breakfast may have a powerful effect.

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Dietary Sources Of Protein

There are many sources of protein for meat eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans. Vegans are the most restricted as their protein exclusively comes from plant-based sources. Good plant-based proteins include:

  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan, which is made from vital wheat gluten

In addition to these plant-based sources of protein, vegetarians also have other sources of protein available to them, including:

  • Eggs, which can come from birds like chickens, ducks and quails
  • Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt

Many pescatarians eat dairy and eggs. Those who don’t would simply avoid dairy and eggs, but would still consume plant-based sources of protein. All pescatarians would also consume seafood products like fish, shellfish and mollusks. These marine products are typically their primary source of protein.

People who eat meat have the most obvious sources of protein available to them. In addition to all the other protein-rich foods, meat-eating people can eat such animal-based proteins as:

  • Beef

Protein Reduces Appetite And Makes You Eat Fewer Calories

How much protein do I eat to help lose weight…

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

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How Is Protein Involved In Weight Loss

Protein is a key macronutrient that plays many important roles in the body. It helps us during muscle recovery, and contributes to the structure of our tissues and our general body’s functioning. Everyone needs some protein in their diet in order to stay healthy.

“Protein is important as a building block of the body, as it helps to maintain muscle mass,” explains Jinan Banna, nutritionist and founder of Jinan Banna . “It has many other functions in the body as well, and is important for weight loss because it helps you to feel full, therefore avoiding overeating.”

But how does protein contribute to weight loss? Well, according to a review of studies published in Frontiers in Endocrinology , protein-heavy diets can help us to stay full for longer, use more energy, create lean muscle mass and maintain weight loss for longer periods.

In one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , researchers found that high protein diets could lead to a higher energy expenditure and thus, more weight loss. “Our study proved that the same number of calories but from different diets can elicit different responses in energy metabolism,” the study’s co-authors said.

In other words, if you eat the same number of calories you do now but increase the amount of those calories coming from protein, you may use more energy and thus lose some weight.

Benefits Of A High Protein Diet For Weight Loss

According to research, increasing your protein consumption can significantly affect your appetite, metabolism, weight, and body composition.

Let us look at the benefits of a high protein diet for weight loss:

  • Promotes Satiety:

    More protein in your diet may help to reduce your hunger and appetite for several hours after you eat. A high protein diet reduces the hunger hormone called ghrelin while increasing appetite-suppressing hormones. This could limit binge eating.

  • Enhances Metabolic Rate:

    A higher protein intake burns more calories as your metabolic rate increases by 20-35 % to digest protein than just 5-15 % for carbohydrates or fat digestion.

  • Helps Balance Body Composition:

    When you eat fewer calories, your metabolism slows down, partly because of decreased muscle mass. Meanwhile, eating more protein might help prevent muscle loss and maintain a healthy metabolic rate. Hence, a high protein diet aids in fat loss while preserving muscle mass, thus maintaining healthy body composition.

  • Increases Muscle Mass:

    Studies show that combining a high protein diet with resistance exercises enhances muscle size and strength, thus improving your muscle mass. This is essential to protect your bones.

  • Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels:

    When you combine protein with carbohydrate-rich foods, it slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This may help keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating while preventing future cravings.

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    Protein Changes The Levels Of Several Weight Regulating Hormones

    Does Eating a Carb &  Protein at Every Meal Help You Lose Weight ...

    Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus .

    In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information.

    Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding .

    A higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin .

    This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.

    Bottom Line:

    Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it boosts the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

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    Proteintakes More Energy To Digest

    Although you won’t lose a ton of pounds with the energy used during digestion, it does contribute to your overall caloric burn rate. A high-protein meal increases your rate of thermogenesis, or the number of calories used during digestion.

    A 2004 review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition explained that the typical thermic effect of protein is 20 to 35 percent of energy consumed. A diet high in protein can increase your resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories all day long, which of course aids weight loss.

    What Are The Potential Side Effects Of A High

    If you’re focusing on more protein and less carbohydrates in your diet, your fiber intake make take a hit, since fiber is only found in carbohydrates, says Zeitlin. Less fiber means more bloat, constipation, and higher risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses if you end up really deficient in the stuff. So make sure to include veggies throughout the day and add in plant-based proteins, like chickpeas, lentils and edamame, she says.

    Talk to your doctor before upping your protein intake a ton, just to make sure the diet is right for you and your needs, says Zeitlin. Extremely high-protein diets could cause stomach cramping, excessive urination, or constipation, and if you’re experiencing those things, cut back to how much protein you ate before.

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    Protein Increases The Thermic Effect Of Food

    The thermic effect of food is the cost of digesting your food.

    Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest cost of all the three macronutrients.

    While the total effect that the thermic effect of food has on daily energy expenditure and weight loss is small, it is not meaningless and is important to note.

    In one study, a high protein diet increased the thermic effect of food by roughly 6-8 kcals per hour when compared to a low protein diet, which may translate to ~50-75 calories per day .

    However, not all studies show this large of an effect, and the thermic effect of protein is not likely responsible for most of its benefit, but it may be the cherry on top of adequate dietary protein during weight loss.

    You can track things like the thermic effect of food, total daily energy expenditure, and macros with the NASM Weight Loss Calculator.

    Does A High Protein Diet Really Help With Weight Loss

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    Calories In, Calories Out is there anything more?

    Well, eating a high protein diet commonly means getting 30% of your calorie directly from protein.

    Still, before we dive into finding whether the protein can help you lose weight, you need to comprehend the bigger picture.

    Protein is just a part of the multi-faceted nutritional system. Actually, we were indicating towards you and your macronutrient requirement.

    Whatever you consume breaks down into 3 macronutrients: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats.

    Unless you face certain medical conditions, you require all 3 to regulate proper health and functioning.

    Lack of any of those can affect health function. Obviously, an imbalance of these can prevent you from achieving your goals.

    However, the macronutrient has certain effects on your body becoming a deciding factor in terms of weight loss.

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    Protein Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced

    While protein has a minimal effect on lowering blood sugar it can help keep blood sugar levels balanced by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This is beneficial because it can help minimize blood sugar and insulin spikes that play a role in fat storage.

    Studies show the benefits of high protein diets for weight loss and blood sugar balance for people with type 2 diabetes, but anyone can see the benefits.

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    It May Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

    Observational studies show that regular consumption of nuts is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. This is partly because they are high in healthful fats (

    2 ).

    Research has linked oleic acid, which is the main fatty acid in almond oil, to beneficial changes in blood lipids .

    One study in healthy adults showed that eating 66 g of almonds or almond oil every day for 6 weeks reduced their levels of low-density lipoprotein, or bad, cholesterol by 6% and triglycerides by 14%. It also increased their high-density lipoprotein, or good, cholesterol by 6% .

    These beneficial changes in the blood lipid profile are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease .

    Although about 50% of the calories in almond milk come from fat, it is generally a low fat product and probably doesnt have a significant impact on your blood lipid profile.

    Nutritionists believe that vitamin E, along with bioactive plant compounds including polyphenols, are responsible for many of the health benefits of almonds. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are good for heart health .

    Bottom line: Almond milk is high in vitamin E and contains healthful fats. Drinking it regularly may benefit your heart.

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    Other Helpful Tips For Weight Loss

    As previously mentioned, supplements like protein are just one element of losing weight. Successfully losing fat, building muscle or changing your body in any way requires a comprehensive plan that addresses your activity level as well as your food consumption.

    Here are a few other tips to ensure your weight loss plan is a holistic one:

    It may be helpful to choose a specific diet program like low-fat or low-carb eating, but you are also free to incorporate elements from multiple programs. The key is to find a weight loss plan that works for your unique lifestyle, experience level and dietary preferences while allowing you to maintain sufficient energy expenditure for fat loss.

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