How does Protein Help us Lose Weight?

How does Protein Help us Lose Weight?

When we want to lose weight, our real objective will be to Lose Fat, otherwise we would compromise our muscle tissue. In fact, protein plays a crucial role in this process. Let’s find out why…

Protein to lose weight

Take a correct amount of protein

A proper intake of protein helps to preserve the muscle mass and stimulates its growth. Therefore, it increases the metabolic rate. In addition, protein produces a feeling of satiety and we need more calories to digest it than other nutrients. Above all, this is due to its thermogenic effect.

Reduce the catabolism

During the fat loss processes, the lean muscle mass is susceptible to catabolism or muscle breakdown to obtain energy. This tends to happen specially if there is a a lack of carbohydrates together with intense physical exercise. However, our body has other ways to obtain glucose from other sources which are not necessarily carbohydrates.


This metabolic pathway is known as gluconeogenesis. In this case, it uses amino acids as substrate (except for lysine and leucine). That is why it is advisable to increase the protein intake during this phase.

How Much Protein Do you Need?

How much protein do you need


Do not trust the scale

Usually, those who start a diet adjusted to their condition in order to lose weight feel unmotivated after weighing themselves in the scale.

But this is a mistake. Reaching a specific weight should not be a goal.

Our objective should be improving the physical composition: lose fat and gain muscle mass. This will affect aspects of our day to day: how our clothes fit, how do we look in the mirror…

How Does Protein Help to Lose Weight?

How does protein help you lose weight

It has a powerful satiating effect

Eating protein, when compared to other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fatproduces satiety and regulates the appetite. Consequently, it can help to suppress the feeling of hunger so that we will eat less in the next meal.

Woman touching her belly with her hands

Knowing that protein produces a more powerful satiating effect than any other nutrients, let’s take advantage of this dietary strategy

High Thermogenic Effect

Our body burns calories when we digest food. This process is known as Thermogenic Effect of Food or TEF. The digestion of protein (complex molecules) takes more resources than other nutrients. Therefore, this means that the body will use more calories just to metabolize them.

A person on a scale

While fat and carbohydrates need between a 10-15% of the energy from a meal to be digested, protein needs a 25% of a meal.

It Stimulates the Muscle Growth

Protein is anabolic, since it provides amino acids to your body. To put it briefly, these are the basic units to build and regenerate tissues. The essential amino acids belong to this group and our cannot synthesize them, which is why we need to obtain them from the diet.

Meat, cheese, rice, eggs, chickpeas...

Therefore, we will need to eat animal protein and combine different sources of vegetable protein

Nitrogen Balance

Without a proper amino acid supply, it would be impossible to grow, repair and preserve the muscle tissue. Having enough amino acids will result in a positive nitrogen balance or anabolic state to gain muscle. However, it is not enough to have a complete protein in order to stimulate the muscle growth processes.

Protein Synthesis

Only certain complete proteins are enough to stimulate the growth of muscle mass. It seems that this is due to the amount of leucine, which is the one in charge of triggering the muscle synthesis. Therefore, instead of eating a lot of protein, the important thing is to make sure that they have enough leucine.


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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
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