Protein is known as an essential nutrient for weight loss. This fact has been confirmed by several scientific studies, and some of the reasons protein is essential for weight loss are stated below.
Protein digests slowly
Protein foods are known to digest slower than carbs. This means that they keep the digestive system engaged for a longer time, and when the digestive system is engaged, one wouldn’t need to eat more foods. Because proteins take a longer time to digest, one can stay full for longer periods after consuming proteins than after eating meals containing carbohydrates.
Protein enhances metabolism
Metabolism is enhanced after a protein-rich meal is consumed. The higher fuel consumed during the enhanced metabolic activities means burning of more calories. The mechanism with which protein enhances metabolism is a combination of the thermic effect of food, which is the amount of energy needed to break down food consumed, and other factors.
It has been established that proteins use about 30% of their calorie content cutting their breakdown meaning that the body will lose some of the calorie content of protein during its breakdown.
Proteins reduce appetite
Studies have also shown that persons on high-protein diets develop lesser appetites than persons in diets low in protein. Diets high in protein reduce the appetite through several mechanisms which include the slower digestion rate of proteins.
Protein help with food cravings
Food cravings contribute significantly to calorie intake, and research has shown that persons in low-protein diets were able to control their food cravings better that persons on diets that are low in protein. The ability to lower food cravings may be linked to the fact the longer digestion periods for proteins
Proteins help with water balance and blood pressure
Another way protein help with weight loss is through the ability of proteins to achieve water balance. Low-protein diets tend to affect the water retention system of the body resulting in higher retention of water in the body. Diets high in protein correct the distortion and leads to a better water balance, preventing the accumulation of more than is ideal fluid in the intracellular body area. Higher retention of body fluid also affects blood pressure as the blood pressure increases when the body retains too much fluid.
When proper water balance is achieved, the extra weight from the accumulated fluid is lost, and that’s how protein helps with weight loss through the water balance mechanism. The improved blood pressure is another plus of this mechanism.
Proteins can be converted to glucose
Glucose is the form of sugar which most cells of the body utilize. Glucose is also readily gotten from carbohydrates, although it can be gotten from other sources. A low-carbohydrate high-protein diet encourages the body to break down carb and fat stores and also convert proteins to glucose, thus reducing the body’s carbohydrate and fat stores and not using up the proteins in muscles and other parts of the body.
Some of the reasons protein is an essential weightloss nutritional component have been stated above. Protein is even more effective when a high-protein diet is paired with a low-carbohydrate diet.
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