Why Protein is Important for Weight Loss
By PW Nutritionist Grace Scott
You probably know protein is important and that our muscles need it; but did you know protein help with weight loss? Protein is a huge buzzword in the fitness and nutrition industries these days, look at ourselves – Protein World; our name comes as we are dedicated to creating high quality, high protein products to help you achieve your #goals.
Unlike the other two macronutrients (fats and carbohydrates), protein cannot be stored by your body, so we need a steady and adequate supply through our diet to maintain a fully functioning body. Proteins are made up from amino acids which are used within your body for a wide spectrum of uses including muscle growth and repair, enzymatic reactions and hormone production (amongst many other things!)
In terms of weight loss then, why is protein important?
Weight loss is all about creating a caloric deficit – meaning you are consuming less calories than you are expending throughout exercise or #NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) which is the smaller things that add up throughout the day – taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the shop rather than driving and house work such as vacuuming! But how does protein fit into this? There is research out there to suggest that increasing your protein intake and reducing your carbs or fat intake can have a positive effect on weight loss without even intentionally trying to lose weight. This could be as simple as a few extra bites of meat, fish or tofu and a fewer amount of potatoes on your plate! This is because protein takes much longer to digest, making you feel fuller for longer by the reduction of the hunger hormone ghrelin and the fact that digesting protein uses up more calories than digesting carbs/fats as your body has to work harder to break them down! This is known as the thermic effect of food. It’s not yet known why but there is also suggestion that a diet high in protein can reduce cravings, in particular wanting to snack late at night! Result!
So how do I incorporate more protein into my diet?
In western society it’s unlikely that someone would be deficient in protein, but an increase in intake is recommended for the majority. A way to work out your required amount of energy is 0.8g per kg of bodyweight although the actual figure is more likely to be around 1.0-1.2g for active persons. For example, a woman weighing 62kg is required to have 49.6g of protein a day, however if this woman is active it’s likely her actual requirement sits between 62g-74g. Adequate protein is so important but many people struggle to incorporate more protein into their diet. A quick way to do this is by adding in a protein shake or adding protein powder to porridges/yoghurts into your daily routine, take our Slender Blend for example, a 40g serving contains a whopping 25g of protein! We try to cater for all and if shakes aren’t your thing we have a wide range of high protein food products to help you hit your weight loss goals or just to simply increase your protein intake! These include pancakes, porridges and yummy bars!