Is protein really necessary for weight loss?
Struggling to lose weight, but your efforts are in vain? Want to slim down without skipping meals or training to failure? If so, add more protein to your diet. This nutrient promotes fat loss and preserves muscle. It also has appetite suppressing effects and increases metabolic rate. A diet that’s too low in protein can lead to muscle loss, decreased immune function, and fragile bones.
The Role of Protein in Your Diet
Eating plenty of protein can help you shed fat, build muscle, and enjoy better overall health. This macronutrient is the building block of your cells and tissues. An overwhelming number of studies suggest that protein has major benefits for metabolic health, cognitive function, muscle growth and repair, weight loss, and sports performance.
By increasing your protein intake, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day and maintain muscle. This is particularly beneficial for those who are on a low calorie diet. Bodybuilders and athletes have higher protein requirements, which is why they take supplements. Adequate protein intake ensures strong immune defense, healthy skin and hair, fast recovery, and steady energy.
Protein and Weight Loss
Although protein doesn’t have a direct impact on body weight, it makes fat loss easier. This nutrient regulates your appetite and promotes satiety, which helps reduce hunger and cravings. Compared to carbs and fats, it takes 25 to 30 percent more energy to digest. This means you keep burning calories after eating a high-protein meal. Additionally, most sources of protein are low in calories. These include chicken, turkey, beef, fish, egg whites, and some vegetables. Nuts and seeds pack a lot of protein and heart-healthy fats, so they should be a staple in your diet.
Whey protein shakes are a great choice for gym goers and active individuals. The same goes for protein bars. These products can help you get more protein into your diet when you need it the most. Many dieters and athletes replace one or more meals with protein shakes. Some add protein powder to homemade pancakes, omelette, and sugar free desserts. Others use mix whey protein into their favorite smoothies. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, choose hemp, soy, or pea protein.
Once you make these changes to your diet, you’ll lose weight and feel better overall. The key is to get your protein from quality foods that support optimal health. Lean meat, fish, leafy greens, cottage cheese, almonds, and whey protein shakes are a great choice, especially for dieters. Aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Make sure each meal contains at least one source of lean protein. At the same time, reduce your carb intake to speed up fat loss.