The Definitive Guide to Protein and Weight Loss
The United States may only account for a slim five percent of the global population, but this country has the largest proportion of the global total of overweight and obese individuals at 13 percent. It is estimated that 160 million people in America are either clinically obese or overweight. Roughly 75 percent of men and 60 percent of women are overweight.1
Finding a fix to weight problems is such a prevalent thing among Americans that the total US weight-loss industry hit the $72 billion mark in 2018—the largest it has ever been.2 Fat-melting workouts programs, supplements touted to burn fat, and those ever-present fad diets seem to be the go-to plan for shedding pounds for many folks. But could there be a better, healthier, and more effective way to lose weight with something as simple as protein? Read below to learn everything you need to know about protein and weight loss.
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Can Protein Help You Lose More Weight?
According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, protein does play a role in both weight loss and maintaining a stable weight. Data suggested in the published piece suggests that diets higher in protein that include protein quantities of about 25 to 30 grams per meal help to improve:3
- Body weight management
- Cardiometabolic risk factors
The study additionally stated that a diet rich in protein helped keep fat mass at a healthier level in the body. Therefore, simply adding adequate amounts of protein into your daily diet could help you reduce your appetite and cravings so you are not taking in a lot of calories with every meal or throughout the day.
How Much Protein Do You Really Need for Weight Loss?
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, which translates to roughly 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women who are at a healthy body weight.6 However, if you are incorporating more protein into your daily intake specifically to support weight-loss efforts, these numbers can be quite different.
Protein makes it possible to give your metabolic rate a boost, which essentially means you will burn more calories, and it helps curb your appetite. If protein makes up about 20 to 30 percent of your total caloric intake every day, you could help your metabolism burn as much as 80 to 100 more calories than what you would on a lower protein diet.6,7
One published study noted that men suffering from obesity who increased their protein intake to 25 percent of their calories saw a drastic reduction in their desire to snack late at night and a 60 percent reduction in how much they were thinking about food.8 Another study found that females that made sure 30 percent of their caloric intake came from protein actually consumed 441 fewer calories daily. These women also lost 11 pounds over the course of a 12-week period.9
If you go by the results of these studies, the target intake of protein to help support weight loss should be around 30 percent of caloric intake daily. For someone who normally eats 2,000 calories per day, this would mean consuming 150 grams of protein would be the target.
Which Protein Is Best for Weight Loss?
Pea protein powder makes it super simple to make sure you are getting a consistent amount of protein in your diet plan to help you lose weight. Clean Lean Protein is low-calorie and high in protein, so it is an excellent protein for energy and weight loss. Each serving provides you with 20-21 grams of protein, but it only has 90 calories, less than half a gram of fat, and only two grams of carbs.
Pea protein is an excellent option to help with weight loss efforts, and research has proven it. Studies have shown that pea protein powder works just as well for satiety as dairy-based protein powders made from whey or casein.4 Plus, it has been shown that just 20 grams of yellow pea protein powder and fiber can reduce calorie consumption by as much as 12 percent when taken before a meal.5
Vegan Diet for Weight Loss
You can follow a vegan diet and lose some weight, if that is your desired outcome. The same rules of upping your protein intake apply for those who eat strictly vegan. Pea protein powder is a natural, plant-based protein source to incorporate into your diet. Since pea protein is naturally low in carbohydrates and calories, it can be used to replace other proteins you may already be consuming to cut some of that calorie and carb intake.
High-Protein Foods for Weight Loss
When most people think about incorporating protein into their diet, they think about things like white fish, and lean cuts of meat like chicken. However, if you are looking for convenience and calorie-dense meals, cooking or baking with protein powder may be a good option for you.
On top of incorporating high-quality whole food sources of protein into your diet, you can benefit from incorporating pea protein powder for an extra protein boost. And pea protein powder can go beyond just having a smoothie, here are some delicious recipes on how to incorporate pea protein into all aspects of your daily diet:
- Protein shakes or smoothies made with protein powder to replace or complement breakfast or snacks
- Protein balls or protein-packed cookies (like these Healthy Oreo Cookies) to replace fatty, high-calorie snacks
- Veggie-based burgers, such as Chickpea Veggie Protein Burgers
- Protein overnight oats or baked oats or some protein oats with satisfying protein
- Brownies or cookies or other typically naughty treats
- Protein ice cream without dairy or sugar
- Protein vegan cheese
- Sugar free and keto-friendly fudge
- And breakfast favorites like protein waffles, protein pancakes, breakfast scones, or protein muffins
- You can have your dessert too, with cake, cookies, pudding, and even donuts
With a good protein mixed in with your daily food intake at just the right portions, losing weight may not seem like such a challenge. With the ability to keep you feeling fuller longer, burn more calories, and give you energy, protein should be a natural factor in any well-planned weight-loss attempt.