Lack of sleep, genetics, your workout program, your diet and stress are factors that, many times, translate into failure when you’re trying to reduce your body fat percentage. If you’ve changed a few of those factors and still you don’t see any results, maybe you should consider adding one of the most popular supplements between athletes and amateurs to your diet: whey protein.
How can a protein supplement help you lose weight?
Taking into account an investigation conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition, we can draw a few positive aspects from it. The study indicates that whey protein provokes a feeling of satiety and reduces the amount of food you eat, in comparison to other types of protein.
Even though whey protein has boosted insulin levels more than other types of protein like tuna, egg or turkey, it has reduced the appetite and energy intake on the meal after having taken protein, indicating that it works very well when it comes to blocking your appetite and losing weight. This type of protein contains glycomacropeptide – a peptide that stimulates cholecystokinin, a gastro-intestinal hormone that’s released after eating and that is responsible for sending satiety signals to the brain.
A higher protein intake allows a bigger retention of lean muscle mass during weight loss diets. This means that, the more muscle mass you maintain or get during the process, the bigger the amount of calories you will burn. Don’t forget that, on average, 1kg of muscles needs 6 times more calories than 1kg of fat.
Investigators from the University of Oklahoma also wanted to test two groups of participants and understand which positive aspects a whey supplement could have during a weight loss process. They were asked not to make any changes to their diet. However, one of the groups took a Whey protein supplement (300 calories, 40g of protein), once a day for 2 weeks, and 2 times a day during the remaining 8 weeks of the study. Both groups followed a resistance workout plan for 10 weeks.
After the study, members from both groups have reduced their body fat percentage, but the group who took the supplement has presented a bigger fat reduction index in comparison to other members of the group (-9,3% versus -4,6%, respectively). The group who took Whey Protein has presented more significant muscle mass gains and a reduction in cholesterol levels.
Whey Protein advantages:
Comes from milk and it is quick to be digested by the body, because it contains a rich source of aminoacids that are essential for muscle growth, maintenance and recovery. It is a complete protein, because it provides your body with every type of essential aminoacids. Promotes muscle mass increase, protein synthesis, helps with muscle recovery, stimulates fat loss, reduces the stress levels and the cortisol effect.
Two important aspects:
1. In case you’re on a vegetarian diet that’s a little bit more flexible, like the lacto-ovo-vegetarian (doesn’t allow fish or meat, but includes a few animal-derived foods: eggs, dairy products, honey, fruit, tubers, cereal, dried fruits and other vegetables), you can use whey protein supplements to increase the amount of quality protein you take in on a daily basis. Use before and after working out.
2. Soy protein is maybe the best alternative to whey. This protein is low in fat and cholesterol, contributes to the increase and maintenance of muscle mass as well as to keep your bones working under normal conditions.
READ ALSO: 5 myths about soy protein
Note1: To get the advantages of weight loss, specialists recommend taking about 120g of protein a day.
Note2: The isolate whey protein is one of the best options for those who are following a low-calorie diet, because it contains low levels of fat, carbs, cholesterol and lactose.
Ways to increase protein intake
A few options that are really easy to include with any meal:
– Tuna in water.
– Chicken/Turkey breast.
– Whey Protein Shakes.
– Albumen shakes (egg protein).
– Boiled egg whites.
– Low-fat greek yogurt
– Low-fat cream cheese.
– Low-fat Ricotta cheese.
Take note of these low cost tips to take protein and of another combination of supplements that may help you during a weight loss process.
Marle Spano, How whey protein can help you drop body fat!, March 2010, adaptation of the original version.
Fernando Ribeiro, A dieta da proteína, November 2013, translation and adaptation of the original version.
Pal S., Ellis V., The acute effects of four protein meals on insulin, glucose, appetite and energy intake in lean men, October 2010, adaptation of the original version.