- A diet rich in protein can increase feelings of fullness faster, contributing to lower calorie intake, as confirmed by a comprehensive study conducted by nutrition experts from Purdue University.
- Despite its satiating effect, protein isn’t a magic solution for weight loss as feelings of hunger and fullness are just a few of many factors impacting calorie intake.
- The exact amount of protein needed to achieve the desired feeling of fullness is still “unresolved”.
- A moderate increase in protein intake could be beneficial for those desiring weight loss, even though the research focused on short-term effects.
- Protein consumption should ideally include a variety of protein types, both animal and plant-based, spread throughout the day, as this not only helps to control hunger, but also provides necessary amino acids for muscle health, immunity, and hormone production.
Indeed, a diet rich in protein might not just be another trend. A new research confirms that protein-heavy meals can make you feel fuller faster.
Often, people hoping to lose those extra pounds increase their intake of meat and other protein-rich foods. The common belief is that this helps in feeling satiated while having a lower calorie intake. Nonetheless, the confirmation of such an idea required more comprehensive studies.
Exhaustive Studies Confirm the Effect of Protein
According to an extensive research conducted by nutrition expert Richard Mattes and his team from Purdue University, protein does make people feel full more quickly.
The findings of these comprehensive examinations have been published in the reputable Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“There is ample evidence that protein activates the release of satiety (fullness) hormone, hence directly tying it in with feelings of fullness,” stated Mattes, who is also the director of Purdue’s Ingestive Behavior Research Center.
Although individual studies may sometimes be misleading due to their small sample sizes or varied approaches, Mattes emphasized that their collective study had the ability to confirm the effect of protein in feeling fuller.
Protein won’t magically lose weight for you!
Despite its satiating effect, the researchers warned that protein isn’t the silver bullet for weight loss.
“Feelings such as hunger and fullness are but a few of the factors that influence our calorie intake. For instance, we often eat because of other reasons. The common experience of being too full to finish a meal yet having room for dessert further emphasizes this point,” explained Mattes.
So, what exactly is the quantity of protein needed to reach the desired feeling of fullness?
Heather Leidy, a co-author of this study and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Missouri, stated that this topic is still “unresolved”.
A Moderate Increase in Protein Is Key
However, the researchers suggest that a moderate increase in protein intake could be a beneficial initial step for those desiring weight loss.
As Mattes specifies, if the effects are sustained long term – even though their research focused on short-term effects – a higher intake of protein may assist in body weight loss or maintenance.
Two nutrition experts admitted that the study findings are beneficial, but the long-term effectiveness of protein-dense diets for weight loss remained uncertain.
Erin Keane, a dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, alluded that the studies varied greatly in the amount of protein, and the total calories consumed at a meal. This lack of consistency makes it arduous to conclude whether an increase in protein results in weight loss.
The Expert’s Take
Dana Angelo White, a clinical assistant professor of athletic training at Quinnipiac University and a regitered dietitian, expressed that the new research “reinforces the messages dietitians are currently relaying”.
According to White, the recommended amount of protein consumption can vary, but should ideally include a variety of protein types, both animal and plant-based, spread throughout the day. “Not only does this keep hunger at bay, but it also provides the body with the necessary amino acids for muscle health, immunity, and hormone production.”
For further details about maintaining a healthy weight, you can check the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.