Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss and a better looking body. A high protein intake boosts metabolism, reduces appetite and changes several weight-regulating hormones. Incorporating more protein into your diet can help you lose weight and belly fat.
Protein Changes The Levels of Several Weight Regulating Hormones
Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus. In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information. Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding.
By replacing carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones. This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.
Protein Makes You Burn More Calories (Increases “Calories Out”)
Due to the high thermic effect and several other factors, a high protein intake tends to boost 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 amount of calories burned by about 80 to 100 a day. This effect is particularly pronounced during overfeeding, or while eating at a caloric surplus. In one study, overfeeding with a high protein diet increased calories burned by 260 per day.
By making you burn more calories, high protein diets have a “metabolic advantage” over diets that are lower in protein.
Protein Cuts Cravings and Reduces Desire for Late-Night Snacking
Cravings are the dieter’s worst enemy. They are one of the biggest reasons why people tend to fail on their diets. Another major problem is late-night snacking. Many people who have a tendency to gain weight get cravings at night, so they snack in the evening. These calories are added on top of all the calories they ate during the day.
Interestingly, protein can have a powerful effect on both cravings and the desire to snack at night. Breakfast may be the most important meal to load up on the protein. In one study in teenage girls, a high-protein breakfast significantly reduced cravings.
It is obvious that a high protein diet is highly beneficial, especially if you want to lose weight. Increase your intake of lean meats, poultry, eggs and nuts and watch those excess pounds fall off.