There are a few reasons why a higher protein diet helps you lose weight and keep it off. In short, high-protein diets help create and maintain optimal levels of various gastrointestinal hormones such as peptide YY and a multitude of others. These same hormones cause you to feel less hungry, eat less food and keep you satisfied for longer after meals. They also help improve insulin efficiency.
Protein also speeds up your metabolism without weighing you down with calories. This means you can burn stored fat more easily and preserve your lean muscle. This is called diet-induced thermogenesis.
Diet-induced thermogenesis is simply a measurement of how much something increases the speed of your metabolism compared with the amount of calories it contains. It’s typically expressed as a percentage; the higher the number, the more easily you’ll burn calories.
Fats, for example, have a value of 3%. Carbohydrates are 7%, so they’re a bit better than fat but still not very helpful.
Proteins have a diet-induced thermogenesis value of 25%. So not only does protein help you feel less hungry and eat less, it also helps you burn off the weight you want to get rid of!
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