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Why does protein help with weight loss?

protein weight management Mar 25, 2024

Protein aids weight loss for several key reasons, making it a crucial component in many weight loss diets:

  1. Increases satiety: Protein is more filling than carbohydrates and fats, meaning you feel fuller for longer after eating. This can lead to a reduction in calorie intake throughout the day, as you will feel less hungry and, consequently, may eat less.

  2. Thermic effect of food (TEF): The body uses energy to digest, absorb, and metabolise the nutrients from food, a process known as the thermic effect of food. Protein has a higher TEF than carbohydrates and fats, meaning the body burns more calories processing it. This contributes to an increase in total calorie expenditure, aiding weight loss.

  3. Maintenance of muscle mass: During a weight loss diet, it's important to lose fat and not muscle. Protein is essential for muscle building and repair, especially if you are exercising as part of your weight loss plan. By maintaining or increasing your muscle mass, you also boost your metabolism, as muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

  4. Boosts metabolism: As mentioned, consuming protein can help increase muscle mass, which in turn speeds up metabolism. A faster metabolism means you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest.

  5. Regulation of appetite hormones: Protein influences the release of hormones that help control appetite, such as reducing the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and increasing hormones that promote feelings of fullness (such as GLP-1 and cholecystokinin). This helps reduce spontaneous calorie intake.

For all these reasons, including a sufficient amount of protein in your diet can be an effective strategy for those looking to lose weight, contributing to greater satiety, increased energy expenditure, and maintenance of muscle mass, which together facilitate the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. 

To discover the precise amount of protein ideal for your weight loss journey, our clinic offers personalised nutrition plans, tailored by our experienced London nutritionists.

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