If you’ve ever read about protein, then you’re probably familiar with its fantastic abilities to help you build muscle and strength. But, the nutrient is vital for far more than that. Protein plays a crucial role in our overall health, and research suggests that it is also essential for weight loss. Today, we’ll go over what the nutrient is and how to use protein for weight loss. Let’s dive in.
What Is protein and how does it work?
Proteins are molecules made of amino acids – the building blocks of life. As you consume protein, the body breaks it down into its building blocks and absorbs them. They then contribute to what is known as the plasma amino acid pool – a sort of storage for amino acids that travel through our bloodstream and lend building blocks where needed.
As a whole, these amino acids are vital for numerous things, including the production of hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and antibodies. Protein is also essential for muscle recovery, wound healing, immune system, and other body functions.
One specific type of protein (known as carriers) transports various substances within the body. For example, hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.
Together, the effects of protein make it essential for your health, well-being, and recovery.
How Whey Protein causes weight loss
Okay, protein’s importance for health and well-being is evident. But what makes it so great for weight loss?
For one, protein is highly satiating, even more so than dietary fats, significantly more than carbohydrates. Consuming more protein will help you feel fuller and more satisfied with your diet, even if you have fewer calories.
Among the three macronutrients, protein also has the highest thermic effect – between 20 and 35 percent. Meaning, if you consume 100 calories worth of protein, your body will expend anywhere from 20 to 35 calories to break it down and absorb it. For reference, the thermic effect of fats and carbs is between 5 and 15 calories.
And finally, protein is fantastic for weight loss because it allows you to maintain muscle mass and athletic performance much better. As a whole, this means that you get to lose more fat and less muscle, thus achieving your goals faster and looking much better by the end of it.
What is the best way to use protein for weight loss?
Protein shakes are the most straightforward, most convenient, and most versatile option for getting more protein into your diet – period.
For one, protein powder offers some of the cheapest protein per serving. Good examples include casein, whey, and egg powders.
Second, to make yourself a protein shake, all you need is some water and powder. If you want to make it more interesting, you can also add some peanut butter, milk, banana, etc. There are many ways to prepare your shakes.
Third, there is also the factor of convenience:
Say that you can’t make it home for a protein-rich meal right after your workout. No problem – take a shake with you, and drink it once you’re done. Or what if you don’t have the time to prepare a high-protein breakfast in the morning? No problem – protein shakes take little time to make, and you can be out the door in no time. For additional insight on protein, check out this protein calculator by fitness volt.