Student dietitian Claire, from @nutritionfoodition on Instagram tells us more about just why fuelling your body with protein is so important for weight loss.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that make up a balanced healthy diet, along with carbohydrates and fats.
Although the general understanding of protein is that it is responsible for growth and development in the body, it also has significant health benefits during weight loss and may be successful in preventing weight regain following weight loss. While we still focus on the short-term results of weight loss, sustainability is key in order to prevent weight regain and weight maintenance. Protein can help achieve a sustainable weight loss and can also make this journey more comfortable by controlling hunger levels.
Studies have found that a high protein diet is a successful strategy to prevent and treat obesity through improvements in body weight management1. Consuming protein with each meal throughout your day can also positively impact your satiety – which is the psychological response from feeling full, fat mass loss and the preservation of muscle mass1. One of the best benefits (and there is many) of protein is the large effect it has on appetite regulated hormones, such as Peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which are stimulated predominantly by dietary protein1. PYY and GLP-1 are hormones that can control hunger levels and improve feelings of satiety, therefore helps to prevent us from overeating leading to weight gain. On top of this, increased satiety resulting from high protein intake has been shown to lead to ‘accidental’ weight loss caused by reductions in daily energy intake1,2. Many studies have also shown that dietary protein has stronger satiety effects than the other macronutrients, dietary fat and carbohydrates 1,3.
So, what can you take from this information? Well, since protein is the greatest satiety-inducing macronutrient, it’s important to include protein with most meals and drinks throughout the day, in order to feel satisfied and full after eating, and also to reduce appetite levels between meals to avoid overeating1,2. Formulite has the highest protein content (36g per serve) of any meal replacement shake on the protein, so you know you’re fuelling your body with the right macros. Including a protein-rich snack like Formulite’s Warm Protein Mocha, can ensure these feelings of fullness and satiety are reached between meals to avoid unnecessary snacking on high caloric foods.
Once you’ve reached your weight loss goals, it’s important to think about sustainability with your weight management. Protein is attributed to maintaining a healthy weight through increased satiety and retention of muscle mass, especially after a significant kg loss – which you might see after bariatric surgery!
Many dietitians and scientists suggest that including a protein-enriched breakfast can also be even more beneficial to maintain weight loss due to the decrease of hunger hormones, appetite and cravings that kick-start your morning4.
Some studies even found that those who included a balance of protein and complex carbohydrates in their first meal of the day experienced fewer cravings for sugary sweets4!