It’s become clear of late that protein is a potent nutrient for those seeking to lose weight and trim off fat. There are a variety of reasons as to why proteins are beneficial to someone who is looking to drop a bit of unwanted fat and develop a leaner body shape, let’s look at these reasons in a little more detail.
Higher protein diets tend to decrease appetite and reduce the amount eaten to a greater extent than carbohydrates and fat. Protein has also been found to reduce the amount eaten in conditions where you have free reign (ad libitum dietary conditions for those who like toe technical jargon!).
Basically if your left to eat whatever amounts you want and whatever foods you want, those who have a higher ratio of protein will likely eat less overall compared to those who eat carbohydrates or fats (Tannous dit El Khoury et al 2006).
Higher protein diets tend to increase your bodies energy expenditure as protein requires more processes to metabolise (Raben 2003). This means one of the components that determines how many calories per day you use (what’s termed total energy expenditure or TEE) can be elevated and in short this means you will be burning more calories.
In this instance you will have two options – either lose weight faster as your expending more energy or potentially eat slightly more for the same rate of weight loss. Either way it’s a positive for those who are trying to lose fat and develop a leaner, more toned physique
Improved body composition
Higher protein diets are linked to better lean muscle tissue maintenance. An increase in lean muscle will have positive effects on metabolism leading to better fat loss over time.
What this basically means is as you diet and lose weight your body is likely to lose more fat than lean tissue with a higher protein diet. Lean tissue is important as it is a vital element of the greatest contributor to your total energy expenditure which is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). In short the more lean tissue you have the more energy your body burns just to keep up the basic functions of living with out things like activity levels. So when losing weight look to increase the proportion of muscle to fat, don’t worry it’s highly unlikely that you will end up looking like Arnie!
But what type of protein is the best?
As can be seen, protein for the dieting individual can have a positive effect on fat lose and assisting the person on there pathway to becoming leaner.
As such, what should a person be looking for when selecting a protein aimed for dieting? Currently there are so many on the market all claiming similar things. Here’s our thoughts on what makes a good diet protein.
Low in calories
You don’t want a protein powder which is fortified with lots of added calories in the form of carbohydrates and fats. As such be wary of many that market themselves as meal replacements as looking at the ingredient list you will see many have simple sugars and fats added. This will just negate the benefits of a low calorie, convenient protein shake.
Supported with active ingredients
Certain compounds and ingredients lend themselves to assisting in the fat loss process such as Caffeine, Green Tea , CLA and L-carnitine. Some of these compounds are more proven than others and some products lend themselves better to being included in a convenient diet protein (loading up on Caffeine when you are looking for a bed time protein treat isn’t a great idea for obvious reasons!).
As such looking for something which has research backed ingredients will assist in your fat loss process.
Many products these days use a combination of different proteins. Typically the companies cite a variety of reasons why they use a blend over pure whey but most of this is a way to decrease their costs as Whey Protein is expensive compared to cheaper protein sources like Soya.
We have already said the most abundant part of your daily energy expenditure is your basal metabolic rate which is closely linked to lean tissue and the retention of this throughout the dieting process.
We know that BCAAs play a vital role in the maintenance of lean tissue in dieting (Dudgeon et al 2016) and as such choosing a product which has high levels is a smart move in choosing a diet protein. Whey Protein has a significantly improved concentration of BCAAs compared to soya and other protein sources so it makes sense to choose a product rich in BCAA through the use of Whey Protein.
So there we have it, protein is a solid choice for those looking for weight and fat loss. Choosing the right diet protein product shouldn’t be that difficult either – choose one which is low calorie, rich in whey for the BCCA content and has research backed ingredients to assist the process. Our recommendation is our tested and research validated Diet Protein
Tannous dit El Khoury D, Obeid O, Azar ST, Hwalla N. 2006 Variations in postprandial ghrelin status following ingestion of high-carbohydrate, high-fat, and high-protein meals in males. Ann Nutr Metab
Raben A, Agerholm-Larsen L, Flint A, Holst JJ, Astrup A. 2003 Meals with similar energy densities but rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol have different effects on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism but not on appetite and energy intake. Am J Clin Nutr
Dudgeon et al 2016. In a single-blind, matched group design: branched-chain amino acid supplementation and resistance training maintains lean body mass during a caloric restricted diet. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition