ere's how protein plays an important role in weight loss.
As part of the role of dietary protein in weight loss and maintenance, a number of targets for regulating body weight are influenced, including satiety, thermogenesis, energy efficiency, and body composition. Among the macronutrients, protein is one of the three, while carbohydrates and fat are the other two. In essence, 'macro' refers to how much the body requires.
In addition to supporting weight loss by cultivating lean body mass, protein also contributes to weight loss through muscle synthesis. A protein-based diet can also lower the likelihood of over-eating and control calorie intake by satiating the appetite. Obtaining adequate protein intake and meeting dietary needs to maintain health and weight loss can be achieved through a variety of sources of protein, including animal and plant-based products.
Protein plays several important functions, including promoting muscle growth, regulating hormones, enhancing fat loss and regulating carbs level.
Protein stimulates muscle gain
Among protein's most important roles is its ability to repair, grow, and build muscle mass. By displacing fat and increasing muscle mass, the body's metabolism speeds up, which facilitates calorie burning even at rest. It is also important to emphasise that muscle can only grow when strength training and exercise are consistently performed. If protein consumption is high without weight training, weight gain may result in fat accumulation.
Protein provides increased satiety
Satiety is a major component of how protein intake contributes to weight loss and regulation. Studies have shown that protein is more satiating in the short and long term than carbohydrate and fat. A decrease in hunger rates has also been associated with higher intakes of essential amino acids, such as leucine, lysine, tryptophan, isoleucine, and threonine, which cannot be obtained through food alone.
Protein regulates hunger hormones
An area of the brain called the hypothalamus actively controls your weight. Your brain processes multiple types of information in order to decide when and how much to eat. Hormones that change in response to feeding are some of the most significant signals to the brain. When you consume more protein, you produce a higher level of satiety (appetite-regulating) hormones, such as GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin, whereas you produce less of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. The effect of replacing carbohydrates and fat with protein is to reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones at the same time.
Protein helps you burn more calories.
As a result of the substantial thermal effect and other factors, an increase in protein intake tends to increase metabolism. It makes you burn more calories around the clock, including during sleep. A high protein intake has been shown to boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned by about 80 to 100 per day. One study showed an increase of 260 calories during overfeeding.
Protein reduces late-night snacking and cravings
There is nothing worse for a dieter than cravings. Diets fail largely because of these cravings. Late-night snacking is another major problem. Many people who have a tendency to gain weight get cravings at night, so they typically consume snacks in the evening. In addition to the calories consumed during the day, these calories are added on top. It has been demonstrated that protein is effective at reducing cravings and the need to snack at night.
Where to get your protein from?
These are some of the important foods that help you to fulfil your protein intake.
- Meat: Chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, sardines, haddock, trout, etc.
- Eggs: All types.
- Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Legumes: Kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
High biological value protein vs low biological value protein
A diet rich in all essential amino acids is necessary to maintain protein quality and integrity. 'High quality' protein sources contain all the 10 essential amino acids, whereas 'low quality' protein sources miss one or more essential amino acids.
Proteins from animal sources (i.e. eggs, milk, meat, fish and poultry) provide the highest quality rating of food sources. This is primarily due to the ‘completeness’ of proteins from these sources.
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