What is Protein-How Does Protein Help to Lose Weight
What is Protein?
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.
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.
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