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Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but how much protein should you be getting in a day and what impact will it have on your weight loss goals? Could protein be the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for good?
What is all the fuss about?
Protein is essential to good health as it is crucial to nearly every bodily function.
Moreover, new research is finding out the ways in which protein works as both a hunger buster and weight loss enabler. Here, we describe the benefits of a protein-rich diet and provide easy ways you can supplement protein in your daily meal plans to reach your weight loss goals.
What is the Recommended Daily Allowance?
Before diving into the benefits of protein in your diet, it is important to know how much protein you should be eating as part of a balanced diet – and in what circumstances eating more than recommended can actually be a good thing. This will let you calculate your current protein intake and see if you could benefit from increasing it.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (0.36 grams per pound) of body weight per day. This equates to roughly 46 grams for an average woman. For men, the RDA is 56 grams per day. While most people easily hit this amount per day through eating a healthy, balanced diet, it can be beneficial to include more protein in your diet.
What source of protein is best?
Another issue to consider before we look at the benefits of protein is the overwhelming supplement choices on the market and what is the best way for you to add more protein to your diet. It really depends on what your goals are and what your daily life looks like. Are you looking to lose weight? Build muscle? Or both? With a vast variety of protein products on the market, it can be a challenge to find the right one for you. Not all products are created equal, and it is important to look at the total calories you are consuming. Protein bars, for example, can be packed with added sugar and eating one can be the equivalent of eating a chocolate bar! So not only is it important to check how much protein is in a protein supplement, but also what else is in it.
So, what are the benefits of a protein-rich diet?
#1. Reduces Hunger, Appetite and Cravings
We all know that in order to lose weight, we need to use a combination of reducing our calorie intake and increasing our activity level – or as the old adage alluded to – weight loss is about calories in versus calories out.
But as anyone who has embarked on a weight loss journey knows, this is much easier said than done! Being on a diet or making lifestyle changes is hard work! Sore muscles and food restrictions – it is no wonder we can find ourselves going back for a second helping at dinner or searching for a sugary treat late in the evening. One way to help you to eat less and curb those cravings is to add more protein to your diet.
Out of fats, carbs and protein, studies show that protein is the most effective macronutrient providing satiety – that feeling of fullness – so it is great if you want to take control over your appetite and hunger levels. Did you know that protein reduces the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin which reduces appetite? It also causes your body to secrete the gut hormone peptide YY, which also reduces hunger. Laure Slayton, RD, founder of Foodtrainers, a nutrition practice in New York City, and author of The Little Book of Thin says that “When you bring protein to about 30% of your daily calories, you’ll naturally eat less,“ adding “Protein decreases appetite and also, in my experience, helps you manage cravings.”
Science is also showing that cravings are different to hunger and appetite. Did you know that a food craving differs from hunger in that it is your brain wanting a reward? Diets high in protein may help to kick the cravings before they even have a chance to take hold. Scientists hypothesise that protein may improve the function of dopamine which is one of the main hormones involved in cravings.
#2. Increases Muscle Strength
Protein and muscles go hand-in-hand. Protein is essential for growth and repair of our muscles. A diet high in protein both maintains your muscle mass and helps you gain more muscles through strength training. This is why you see aisle after aisle filled with protein shakes, protein bars, protein cakes, protein ice cream (yup, that’s a thing) at the chemist and supermarket. And why you will see cross-fitters and gym junkies loading up on a protein shake after their workout.
One area, for women especially, that is super important in terms of our muscle strength is in relation to aging. As we age, our bodies and muscles become weaker. Muscle mass also decreases for men with advancing age, with men losing absolute and relative muscle mass. Increasing dietary protein plays a pivotal role in preventing age-related health issues such as osteoporosis and muscle deterioration.
Increasing protein intake as you age may help support bone strength and help maintain muscle-tone, “so you can stay stronger and more functional,” says Nancy Rodriguez, PhD, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut. According to a 2015 study, adults who consumed 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram, or 0.68 grams per pound, of body weight daily, were better able to rebuild and retain muscle only after 4 days, compared to control groups consuming the RDA.
#3. Boosts Metabolism
Protein plays a role in boosting metabolism and fat burning in the body. After we eat meals, our body uses some calories to assist with digesting the food. This process is called the thermic effect of food. Research has shown that protein provides a higher thermic effect (20-35%) compared to carbs or fat (5-15%). Another benefit of protein is that it helps us to burn more calories throughout the day.
Often when we embark on our weight loss journey, our metabolism decreases. This is because if our leptin (a hormone secreted from fat cells that helps to regulate body weight) levels dip while dieting our body’s response is to conserve energy by slowing metabolism. However, exercise can offset this: a 2015 study found that people who did resistance training for 9 months had a roughly 5 percent increase in their resting metabolic rate. Increasing daily protein intake is also important. According to Caroline Apovian, MD, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Centre, in relation to eating the RDA of protein “research shows that to prevent muscle loss while losing weight, you need to almost double that.”
#4. Helps You Maintain Your Weight Loss
We have all tried the latest diet fad – only to be so happy after initially losing weight and then disheartened to see it return as the diet becomes too hard and temptations get the better of us. Put simply, keeping the weight off in the long term is never easy. This is why we hear the phrase yo-yo dieting a lot; the pattern of losing weight and then gaining it back again is all too common.
As discussed above, protein speeds up metabolism and helps increase fat burning and many people find that they lose weight when they increase their dietary intake of protein. But did you know that protein can also help to keep the pounds off long term?
One healthy and easy way to add protein to your diet whilst also not consuming any nasty extras like added sugar and fillers is through the TruPLENISH Shake – one of the core products of Mannatech’s Tru Health System. It is different from competitor shakes in that it’s a plant-based complete meal replacement full of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, glyconutrients and over 20 grams of protein. It’s also a good source of fibre, keeping you fuller for longer and it comes in delicious chocolate and vanilla flavour. Replacing one or two meals a day with a TruPLENISH Nutritional Supplement Shake will enable you to easily reduce your calorie intake without sacrificing nutritional needs.
Once you’ve reached your goals, continuing to incorporate TruPLENISH Nutritional Supplement Shake into your daily meal plan will help you cut the fat and maintain your new body shape!
- Helps maintain lean muscle
- Helps reduce feelings of hunger and increase satiety
- Promotes healthy fat loss, for a healthier, leaner body
- Promotes healthy digestion
- Help you look and feel better.
- Contains fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cranberries, kale and spinach
- Contains Glyconutrients through aloe vera extract.
Another great way to assist with losing weight and keeping it off is Mannatech’s OsoLean Powder. OsoLean powder contains Mannatech’s proprietary whey protein blend and calcium from milk – both of which have been shown to promote fat loss while maintaining lean muscle when combined with a reduced kilojoule diet and proper exercie. OsoLean powder uses a patented process in which specific parts of whey protein, called peptides, are separated and concentrated to help ensure optimal fat loss. Made from naturally sourced whey protein and advanced technology, OsoLean powder is a complement to the foods you already enjoy while promoting and maintaining lean muscle, so you know that the weight you start shredding is actually fat.
The benefits of the powder include:
- Helps improve fat loss while maintaining lean muscle.*
- Helps improve lean mass-to-fat ratio.*
- Increases your protein intake to support a healthy balanced lifestyle.*
- 10 grams of protein to help you feel full.
- Mix your OsoLean with TruPlenish for 30g of protein!
- All-natural with no synthetic additives.
- Created with advanced protein peptide technology.
- Provides essential minerals and nutrients with just two servings a day.
- Helps you feel fuller, longer.
- Promotes fat loss and spares lean muscle mass.*
- Ni sweetener.
Clinically proven, OsoLean works!
Two groups participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine the effectiveness of OsoLean. Both groups reduced their calorific intake by 500 calories / day (2090 kilojoules), but one group added OsoLean powder before two meals every day. The study showed that even though both groups lost about the same weight, those in the OsoLean group lost almost twice as much fat!
With so many benefits to gain from increasing protein in your diet, is it time you incorporated more of this vital nutrient into your diet? Mannatech’s drink supplements are a healthy and super easy way to up your intake of protein to help you eat less – while still feeling full – and ultimately to reach your weight loss goals.
Up Your Protein With The 90 Day Smoothie Challenge
Adding extra protein to your diet is easy, but why not make it fun as well? Join our 90 Day Smoothie Challenge and be part of a fun and smoothie-loving community. You can even win prizes each month!
The 90 Day Smoothie Challenge is a great incentive to make healthy lifestyle changes while getting creative with protein-rich smoothie recipes created by you and the smoothie challenge community. Join the private Facebook group to find a universe of recipes from our last challenge. The 90 Day Smoothie Challenge kicks off 1st May 2022!
*OsoLean powder should be used in conjunction with a reduced-kilojoule diet, and proper exercise. See mannatechscience.org
*When used in conjunction with a program of reduced intake of dietary calories and increased physical activity.