Plenty of research has been conducted on weight loss and nutrition. Some of the findings have helped people lose weight effectively.
- For starters, we know how important exercise is. An individual’s eating habits must be healthy in order to optimize weight loss. This aspect is more important in comparison to hours spent working out.
- Secondly, as far as dieting is concerned, no universal solution exists when it comes to losing weight. A lot of diets will work effectively as intended if a calorie balance total is tracked.
- Thirdly, dietary protein happens to be a key “lever” for a diet, as a improves the chances of somebody losing weight and keeping it off.
The following article will lay to rest any misconceptions about protein. You’ll find out specifically the amount to consume each day for the sake of losing weight. You’ll also learn a few things like should be kept in mind when coordinating a diet.
Protein: What Is It?
Protein can be described as a key macronutrient involved with just about every bodily process and function. As far as exercise recovery is concerned, it plays an important role.
This dietary nutrient is essential for optimal living. Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon integrate with one another for amino acid formation, which are protein’s building blocks. Amino acids and protein are mostly used to form enzymes, develop bodily tissues, maintain the balance of fluids, create cellular transporters, and much more.
What Is the Right Amount of Protein to Consume Each Day?
If you’re interested in losing weight, try to consume 1.6 to 2.2 g worth of protein for each kilogram (that comes out to 0.73 g to 1 g per pound).
Heavy exercisers and athletes are encouraged to consume between 2.2 and 3.4 g worth of protein for each kilogram (1 g to 1.5 g for each pound) if they are trying to lose weight.
How Can Protein Assist with Weight Loss?
When it comes to losing weight, dietary protein is a key aspect of any diet.
Although dietary protein comes with a lot of benefits, there are 4 that affect weight loss endeavors directly:
- Food‘s thermic effect.
- Lean mass.
- Body fat storage.
Let’s go over each one of these subjects.
Protein Can Help You Feel More Full for a Longer Period of Time
Hunger can impede one’s attempts to lose weight. People aren’t as inclined to stay loyal to a diet or nutrition plan if/when they constantly experience high hunger levels.
Protein happens to be very satiating, more so than any other micronutrient. A lot of research has been conducted about this topic, and all studies have reached the same conclusion – a higher intake of protein generally results in less hunger and more satiety.
For instance, one study revealed that snacks high in protein let people take longer breaks between meals. Further, when the time came to eat those meals, high levels of protein resulted in people consuming less food.
Another study revealed that adding protein to a water glass minimized hunger, as opposed to drinking water on its own. Based on the protein source, there will be small differences in how much satiety is provided by protein. However, such differences aren’t of significance. They don’t actually have any impact on most people.
At the moment, there isn’t a daily universal protein intake level for the average diet you can stick to in an effort to remain full. Having said that, approximately 1.8 g to 2.9 g worth of protein for each kilogram daily (which equates to 0.822 to 1.32 g worth of protein for each pound) seems to be sufficient, as far as satiety is concerned.
Lean Mass is Preserved by Protein
Protein benefits weight loss in another way – it can help preserve lean mass on the body when you are restricting your caloric intake.
One group study contrasted the impact of low-portions of protein on lean mass during a short-term deficit intake of calories. The amounts considered a daily intake of 1 g per kilogram of protein to 2.3 g daily of high protein. The group with the low intake of protein lost an average of 1.6 kg (about 3.5 lbs.) of muscle mass. By contrast, the high take protein group lost only 0.3 kg (about 0.66 lbs. of muscle mass.
A similar study contrasted a group taking 0.8 g of protein each day against a group that took 1.6 g of protein a day, as well as another group that took 2.4 g worth of protein each day. The findings revealed that the higher intakes of protein (1.6, 2.4) preserved a higher amount of lean body mass in comparison to the group that took 0.8 g worth of protein a day. The findings also revealed that there weren’t any additional benefits of consuming 2.4 g worth of protein a day in comparison to the group who took 1.6 g worth of protein per day.
Today, a majority of evidence seems to suggest 1.6 g worth of protein for each kilogram (about 0.70 g worth of protein for each pound) is the recommended target for daily protein intake in order to maintain lean body mass during weight loss periods.
Basically, some energy will be required in order to have food broken down, digested, and converted into energy. Of these three macronutrients, protein happens to have the biggest importance. Although the effects of food’s thermic impact has on weight loss and energy expenditure each day are fairly small, that doesn’t mean they’re meaningless, so keep that in mind.
One study revealed that a diet high in protein increased food’s thermic impact by approximately 6 to 8 kcals an hour in comparison to a diet low in protein, which could potentially translate to between 50 and 75 cal a day.
With that said, not every study suggests that the effects are this significant. The studies also don’t suggest that protein’s thermic effect has any influence on the benefits associated with it. Rather, this may be a bit of a bonus that comes with sufficient dairy protein when one is trying to lose weight.
Protein Is Difficult to Store
During weight loss periods, there will be times where an excess of energy gets consumed, as opposed to expended. Therefore, that surplus of energy (calories) will be stored as body fat.
All three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) are processed by the body in completely distinct ways.
Fundamentally, to store protein as fat, a unique biochemical process will be used. This process complicates the process of storing protein as a source of body fat.
A study recently revealed that protein that gets stored as a source of body fat has an efficiency rate of 66%. By comparison, stored carbohydrates have an efficiency rate of 80%. The efficiency rate for stored fats is 96%.
During a period of weight loss, an overconsumption of protein will result in significantly less body fat, more so than overconsumption of fat or carbohydrates.
Nutritional Guidelines recommend an intake of about 1.6 g of protein to 2.2 g for each kilogram. This equates to 0.73 g to 1 g for each pound if weight loss is your goal. Heavy exercisers and athletes are encouraged to eat between 2.2 g and 3.4 g worth of protein for each kilogram if they’re interested in optimizing weight loss. That equates to between 1 g and 1.5 g for each pound.
Although a number of unique diets can help you achieve success with your weight loss endeavors, the amount of protein consumed is an aspect to keep in mind when a diet is being planned. Protein promotes satiety, slightly increases food’s thermic effect, helps with lean body mass maintenance, and minimizes the efficiency of extra calories being stored as a surplus of body fat.