Over the decades, science has shown that multiple factors impact weight loss - diet, exercise habits, genetics, age, gender, stress, and sleep.
And, while the details of these recommendations have changed over the years, one factor has stayed fairly constant - the importance of dietary protein in weight loss.
At first, that may sound a bit counterintuitive. Or, you may only relate protein to muscle building. However, there are many ways protein helps people lose weight. And it helps keep those pounds from returning after you’ve shed them.
5 Ways Protein Can Help You Lose Weight
We’re breaking it all down right here to help you get the best results from your weight loss journey. And, you know us - we always use research to back up everything we do here at ProT Gold. So, here are 5 science-backed ways protein can help you lose weight.
1. Protein May Increase Your Metabolic Rate
Perhaps one of the most exciting characteristics of protein is that just simply consuming it may help boost your metabolism.
Metabolism is made up of 3 factors: resting metabolic rate (the energy our body uses to breathe, circulate blood, and perform other automatic survival functions), activity thermogenesis (energy used when engaged in any activity or exercise), and thermic effect of food (the number of calories necessary for digesting and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat).
Each one of these factors makes up a percentage of our body’s total energy expenditure.
For most people, thermogenesis from physical activity comprises about 10% of total energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate accounts for anywhere between 60 and 70%. The thermic effect of food (TEF for short) varies based on what you eat, and protein has a much higher rate than carbohydrates or fats.
This means it takes more energy for the body to break down protein than it does fat or carbohydrates.
Protein has a TEF of 25-30%, so if you eat a snack that includes 100 calories of protein, you’ll burn 30 calories just by chewing, digesting, and absorbing the protein from that snack!
Studies have shown that people who eat a higher-protein diet often burn around 100 calories more per day than those who eat a more traditional diet centered around carbohydrates. Even simple activities like walking, or working in the garden, can help you burn significantly more calories if you are getting enough protein in your diet.
Another way protein increases our metabolic rate has to do with differences between muscle and fat.
Muscles are built and maintained by protein, which requires energy. That energy is provided by the burning of calories. Just by existing, muscles burn more calories than fat. Fat does not require much energy at all to accumulate or maintain in the body. Consuming more protein helps you lose weight by building muscle, which burns more calories, and helps fuel your workouts during your weight loss journey.
2. Protein Could Initiate Belly Fat Burn
Research shows that people who eat more protein are more likely to see a decrease in hard-to-lose belly fat. This is great because that fat surrounding our internal organs is associated with many chronic diseases.
Belly fat is known to be a major causal factor in the development of deadly cardiovascular disease, strokes, hypertension, type II diabetes, various cancers, gallbladder failure, and even age-related dementia.
And increasing your protein intake could help protect your body from this harmful fat!
You may have heard medical professionals talk about the importance of eating enough protein when trying to lose weight. This is because protein is key in preserving muscle mass.
When we are eating at a caloric deficit and exercising, our body turns to existing muscle and fat to supply itself with fuel. If we are not consuming enough protein each day, our muscles will be targeted before stored fat is.
Therefore, to make sure our body is burning fat as fuel instead of muscle, we need to ensure we are getting enough protein in our diet.
3. Protein Fills You Up
Have you ever noticed how easily you can eat a stack of your favorite cookies before your body tells you it’s full?
I’ll bet you could eat more cookies or chips than almonds or steak. That’s because protein instigates different hormonal responses than fat and carbohydrates do within our brain and digestive system.
You see, when we eat, different hormones are released in different amounts depending on what nutrients are in the food we consume.
When we eat protein, the amino acids trigger significant increases in peptide YY, cholecystokinin, and GLP-1 - which tell the brain that you are satiated. Protein also reduces levels of the hunger-inducing hormone, ghrelin.
Feeling satiated earlier on in a meal through protein intake means we are likely to consume fewer calories.
4. And it Helps KEEP You Fuller, Longer
Protein not only helps you feel full more quickly but helps you feel full for longer.
Think again about that stack of your favorite cookies, and the steak: the last time you enjoyed each of those items, how soon did you experience twinges of hunger again after eating?
More than likely, your mind began to fantasize about your next meal quite a bit sooner after polishing off the cookies than after savoring the steak.
Protein is by far the most filling nutrient, and knocks carbohydrates and fat out of the water when it comes to preventing overeating.
Multiple studies have demonstrated protein’s effectiveness in supporting weight loss, even when people are not actively restricting calories or portion sizes. One often-cited study showed diets consisting of 30% protein led to participants eating 440 calories less per day than those eating less protein!
5. Protein Could You Keep the Weight Off
Protein not only helps you lose weight, it may also help you keep weight off long term.
Research has shown higher protein diets are better at inducing and maintaining weight loss over time than carb- or fat-centric diets. By eating a satiating diet high in protein, you are less likely to snack on empty-calorie foods or overeat.
One study even demonstrated that minimal increases in protein intake from just 15% to 18% of daily nutrition led to a 50% lower body weight regain later on.
Calorie Numbers Matter - Even with Protein
While protein is clearly a superstar in helping support weight loss, it is important to remember that consuming too much of anything will cause weight gain.
And, you have to be careful because protein-rich foods tend to pack more calories into smaller packages (just two tablespoons of nut butter can contain over 200 calories!).
Calculating your optimal protein intake is key to avoiding calorie overload. It will also help you avoid potential health problems that can arise from consuming too much protein.
To be safe, you should ingest three-fourths of your ideal body weight (but no more than your current body weight) in grams of protein daily.
For example: If your ideal healthy body weight is 160 lbs, but you currently weigh 220, your ideal daily protein intake range would be 120 - 165 grams.
The Type of Protein Also Matters
When it comes to supplementing your weight loss journey, not all protein sources are equal. While eating whole food packed with lean protein is vital - such as greek yogurt, fish, poultry, nut butters, and beans - it can be difficult to get the right amount of protein through food alone.
Many health-minded people have turned to protein supplements to make sure they get enough protein to help them lose weight.
Medical professionals emphasize the importance of choosing a protein supplement that is free from heavy metals and potentially inflammatory fillers, which are found in many products.
Another potential allergen often found in protein supplements is egg. When trying to lose weight you may not want or need the added portions of fat or cholesterol found in eggs. And you should steer clear of artificial sweeteners, which are a common ingredient in many protein supplements.
So, what’s the solution?
Using Collagen Protein for Weight Loss
Perhaps the most effective type of protein supplement for weight loss is liquid collagen.
Collagen is a blend of natural proteins our body uses to build and maintain muscles, bones, and connective tissues. High-quality collagen supplements contain no additives and can be absorbed well by the body.
Supplementing with collagen peptides bolsters muscle building and supports joint health. When trying to lose weight, we need to remain active. In order to do that, we need to work to prevent injury and keep our muscles strong. Collagen helps with both.
Hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down into collagen's most bioavailable form. This means it is in a form that is easy to digest and absorb into your body. It’s important to select a hydrolyzed form of collagen so that our body can receive all the benefits from this vital supplement.
Collagen is especially important in our 30’s and beyond, which is when our body’s natural collagen stores begin depleting more rapidly. Collagen peptides allow joints and bones to stay strong and repair themselves, in turn promoting muscle growth, which we know is important for physical activity and weight loss.
Collagen peptides also contain high proportions of the amino acid arginine, which converts into natural growth hormones and supports muscle strength and recovery.
Choose ProT Gold for your Weight Loss Goals
If you’re looking to lose weight our liquid collagen protein could be just the ticket.
Collagen peptides have proven to be more satiating than other forms of protein supplements and can help you consume fewer calories in a day than other forms of protein.
To ensure you receive all the advantages of collagen peptides, make sure you select high quality and bioavailable products.
ProT Gold liquid collagen provides nano-hydrolyzed collagen peptides for maximum absorption. It is trusted by thousands of medical professionals around the globe, contains no inflammatory fillers, and comes in convenient liquid form. And, with 3 grams of arginine per serving, it’s great for enhancing the results of your exercise habits.
No matter the scale of your exercise or weight loss goals, adding ProT Gold to your daily protein intake can help you achieve the healthiest, most fit version of yourself.