Why Protein is Good For Weight Loss
While fad diets come and go, certain principles hold true. One is that the amount of high-quality protein in your diet─rich in all essential amino acids─is among the single most important factors to influence your metabolic rate and promote safe, lasting weight loss.
Evidence has long been accumulating that diets with reduced carbohydrates and increased levels of protein are effective for trimming pounds. These diets appear to provide a metabolic advantage that targets increased loss of body fat while reducing loss of lean muscle and stabilizing blood glucose.1 Retaining lean muscle is vital since, among other functions, it acts as an “engine” to burn calories more efficiently, further promoting fat loss.
Can amino acids help you Lose Weight
The importance of protein is largely due to the essential amino acids it contains─including the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These account for 40% of the amino acids your body requires.2 Of these BCAAs, leucine may be especially valuable in helping to activate a sluggish metabolism. Leucine is a potent “signal nutrient” regulating protein metabolism and helping to develop muscle mass while preventing protein loss.3
The richest food sources of leucine are meat and dairy products. However, if you’re scaling back on saturated fat and cholesterol, you’ll be glad to know that one leucine-packed food is free of both: whey protein isolate. This form of whey protein has had the saturated fat, cholesterol, and lactose removed, resulting in a low calorie, easily digested protein dense in every essential amino acid.
So, whether you want to trim, sculpt─or simply maintain your efforts─consuming ample, high-quality protein each and every day is one health habit that will pay off measurably.
1 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 90006, 631S-636S (2004)
2 J Nutr. 2004 Jun;134(6 Suppl):1583S-1587S
3 Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 May;13(3):265-70