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How Does Protein Help to Lose Weight

Updated on July 17, 2019
Vellur profile image

Weight loss has been one of Nithya Venkat's longtime goals. Including proteins in her diet has been one of her methods to lose weight.

Milk has two main types of proteins – eighty percent of casein and twenty percent of whey.
Milk has two main types of proteins – eighty percent of casein and twenty percent of whey. | Source

Proteins are large complex organic molecules made up of amino acids connected in the form of a chain. There are twenty different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein.

Amino acids are connected and folded in various ways to create three-dimensional structures that help to determine the function of any particular protein.

Proteins are responsible for the body to function and stay healthy. They are essential for the structure, function, and regulation of the organs present in the body.

Function of Proteins

Protein is a macronutrient. A macronutrient is a nutrient that is required by the body to function well and keep in good health.

Protein is the major structural and functional component of all the cells in the body. All enzymes, membrane carriers, blood transport molecules, hair, fingernails, serum albumin, keratin, collagen, and many hormones are made of proteins.

Proteins help to -

  • transport molecules throughout the body
  • repair new cells and produce new ones
  • protect the body from bacteria and viruses
  • promote growth and development

Out of the twenty amino acids, the body cannot make nine essential amino acids, but these essential amino acids can be obtained by eating protein-rich foods like egg, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu.

How Proteins Help to Lose Weight

Proteins increase the metabolic rate of your body, reduces appetite, and increases the production of weight-regulating hormones.

Higher protein intake helps to increase the production of hormones that helps to feel full and reduce appetite. Consuming a hundred calories of protein will make you feel fuller than eating 100 calories of carbohydrates.

The habit of late-night snacking leads to weight gain. Including a protein in every meal helps to reduce cravings and prevent late-night snacking. Higher protein intake also helps to reduce belly fat and weight regain.

Hormones that Help To Reduce Hunger

GLP-1, Peptide YY, and Cholecystokinin are satiety hormones that make you feel full

Ghrelin hormone helps to reduce hunger levels in your body.

All these hormones lead to a reduction in hunger, and as a result, you tend to eat less during every meal, and consequently lose weight.

Thermic Effect of Food and Weight Loss

Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the energy used to eat, digest, and metabolize food.

Protein has a much higher thermic effect when compared to carbohydrates. About twenty to thirty percent of calories are burned while the body is digesting and metabolizing protein.

The high TEF of protein helps your body to boost metabolism and burn more calories, thereby leading to weight loss. High protein intake can help you to burn 80-100 or more calories per day when compared to carbohydrates.

High protein intake helps you to feel full, eat less, consume fewer calories, and ultimately leads to weight loss.

What is whey protein?

Proteins isolated from whey is called whey protein. Whey is the liquid part of milk that separates during the production of cheese.

During cheese production, the fatty part of milk solidifies into a mass, and a watery liquid (whey) is left behind. The whey is strained out and processed to produce whey protein powder.

Whey protein is added to shakes, protein bars and included in protein-rich diets. It helps to lose weight, add muscle, and make up for lack of protein. It is flavored as they don’t taste good on their own.

People who are lactose intolerant or allergic to whey protein should not include whey protein in their daily meal plan.

Plant-Based Protein

Here are some of the best plant-based protein sources -

Tofu - 10 g of protein per cup

Cooked lentils - 8.84 g of protein per ½ cup

Cooked chickpeas - 7.25 per ½ cup

Peanuts - 20.5 g pf protein per ½ cup

Almonds - 16.5 g of protein per ½ cup

Cooked quinoa - 8 g of protein per cup

Chia seeds - 2 g of protein per tablespoon

Cooked green peas - 9 g of protein per cup

Two tablespoons of Spirulina - 8 g of protein

Half a cup of dry oats - 6 g of protein

Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism, but you will not lose weight if you do not burn more calories than you consume.

References

https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/protein-and-amino-acids

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21177/

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/howgeneswork/protein

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-80

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight#section5

https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-weight-loss

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Nithya Venkat

Comments

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    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 days ago from Dubai

      Thank you Bronwen Scott-Branagan.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 days ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for an interesting and informative article.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      9 days ago from Dubai

      Thank you Shaloo Walia.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      9 days ago from India

      Interesting information. Thanks!

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thelma there are many lactose free protein powders. Just search in online stores or visit a local supermarket near your place.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Jackie. Oh yes we should have paid attention to the nursery rhyme!!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      Very interesting Nithya, thank you.

      I think I will be looking into whey, in particular. Now I know we should have considered closely the nursery rhyme as a child about curds and whey, huh?

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 weeks ago from Germany and Philippines

      I am lactose intolerant. I wonder if there is a lactose free protein for me to try. Thanks for sharing those informations.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnyway thank you for your visit and comments.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Hello Bronwen Scott-Branagan, lactose free milk has the same amount of protein.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Dora Weithers, I am happy you are comfortable taking the protein powder.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Peggy you are so right, everything needs to be in balance.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Eric Dierker.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 weeks ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for an interesting article. I wonder if Lactose Free milk has the same amount of protein.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      This is useful information in knowing what proteins do and how you can use them for best advantage in weight loss.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Nithya, thanks for these explanations. I have some protein powder which is supposed to be a meal replacement. After reading your article, I fell more comfortable to try it. Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Consuming protein definitely helps stave off hunger a bit longer. Your very last sentence is also true. Everything needs to be in balance. Thanks for writing this enlightening post.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      This is useful information. I would like to lose some extra weight.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Count me in! I needed this. I really enjoy how you get right to the point. Thank you.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you, Linda. We should make sure we get enough protein.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Protein is such an important nutrient and has so many uses. Thanks for sharing the information, Nithya.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      This article is full of important info. Protein is very useful. Thank you.

    • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 weeks ago from Dubai

      Thank you Bill for your visit and comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You always share fascinating information, and this is no exception. Thank you!

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