Whey Protein and Weight Loss – The Basics (Part 1)
Consuming an adequate amount of high quality protein while on a weight loss program is critical to success. Protein can help reduce cravings, enhance calorie-burning, and preserve muscle – all key elements to a rewarding weight loss program.
There is a large abundance of information on protein and weight loss. Most of this information seems far too technical and confusing. This article is intended to provide the basic, essential information that you need to know about protein if you are on a weight loss program or are thinking about going on a weight loss program. I address the critical issues in this article including the benefits of consuming protein, how protein can help you, and when, what kind, and how much protein you should consume while on a weight loss program.
Benefits of Whey Protein During a Weight Loss Program
Consuming enough protein through your diet while on a weight loss program can have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of that program. A study of 32 women and 95 men who replaced two meals with a 15 gram whey protein supplement each day for six months showed the effectiveness of protein on improving weight loss. Although 15 grams is a small amount of protein, the results were still very positive. On average, during these six months participants lost 20 pounds while cholesterol and triglycerides – key health parameters – also improved.
Getting adequate protein can help to lose fat instead of muscle, increase calorie burning, and keep you feeling full rather than starving and struggling to maintain your diet. In addition, protein also helps to improve muscularity, build HDL (“good”) cholesterol, improve antioxidant function, support blood sugar metabolism, and improve immunity.
During weight loss, our bodies can easily lose a lot of muscle mass and even bone mass due to the restricted calorie diets. You can largely prevent this from happening by eating more protein while on your weight loss program. If you consume an adequate amount of protein while losing weight you can do your best to make sure that you are losing fat as opposed to muscle. This redistribution – less fat and the same or more muscle – will result in a shapelier and more ideal body figure.
Consuming protein can also enhance calorie burning – improving the results of your weight loss program. Protein can directly benefit muscle function and health – including improving calorie burning by muscle which enhances your weight loss regimen. A high protein, low carbohydrate diet helps to burn more calories when the body is converting protein to glucose. Therefore, to maximize the effectiveness of your weight loss program’s ability to enhance calorie burning, consume plenty of high quality weight protein.
The third and arguably most immediate benefit to consuming whey protein during weight loss is its ability to improve your feeling of fullness or satisfaction after eating. Whey protein is helpful in improving your brain’s feeling of satisfaction after eating; there are elements in protein that regulate appetite, a benefit derived only from consuming a high amount of whey protein. Research has even hinted that whey protein might be more effective at satisfying hunger than carbohydrates or fats.
In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants reported greater weight loss and less hunger when on a higher protein diet. Protein appears to act like an appetite suppressant resulting in less binge eating between meals. An especially important time to eat protein at breakfast, this will help you control cravings for starches and sweets throughout the day.