What Role Does Protein Play in Weight Control?

What Role Does Protein Play in Weight Control?

Macronutrients are nutrients found in food that your body needs to run smoothly. Compared to micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, macronutrients are required in larger quantities, hence the prefix “macro.” 

The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your body has two primary sources of fuel: fats and carbohydrates. In the absence of carbohydrates, your body can use fat for fuel effectively if you don’t have type 1 diabetes.

Like carbohydrates, protein provides four calories per gram. However, protein is also essential for good health. It enables cells to perform their everyday functions, including DNA repair, responsible for muscle growth.

Below, we asked our expert at Soulage Wellness and Aesthetic Center, Dr. Pompeyo Chavez, to explain the role of protein in weight control. 

Protein decreases hunger 

It’s no secret that eating several slices of cake is more accessible than eating five eggs or finishing a large steak. Because protein doesn’t spike insulin as much as carbohydrates, high-protein meals help you feel satiated faster. Studies show that the bigger the insulin response, the more significant the hunger. 

Insulin is the fat-storing hormone. Not only does more insulin make you hungrier, but it also makes you store more fat, making weight loss more difficult. Swapping foods high in simple carbohydrates with foods high in protein may help you lose more weight by reducing insulin.

Protein increases muscle mass 

Muscle is what gives your body a beautiful, harmonious contour. If you have less muscle mass, you may appear larger and less defined. 

Muscle also takes up less space than fat. Therefore, by increasing your protein intake and physical activity levels, you may be able to look fitter and increase your muscle definition without losing much weight. 

Protein takes more energy to digest 

Digesting food requires energy as well, and protein digestion requires more energy expenditure than digesting fats and carbohydrates. By consuming adequate amounts of protein, you can burn more calories even at rest. 

Some specialists believe that up to 30% of the calories from protein are burned while the body is digesting protein. 

Good sources of protein 

You can find significant amounts of protein in meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, and legumes. However, not all sources of protein are created equal. For example, very few plant sources of protein provide all nine essential amino acids.

Get smarter about weight control. 

Under the guidance of Dr. Chavez, you can achieve superior results with less effort by making a few tweaks to your diet. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about our approach to weight control. 

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