Proteins – Only For Bodybuilders?

Proteins are immediately associated muscle-bound bodybuilders very often who consume protein shakes after an intense workout. Yet the importance of protein goes far beyond muscle building: rather, proteins are a valuable ally for all people who want to lose weight.

“Proteins or protein are the best satiator in nutrition there is,” knows fitness trainer and nutrition expert Jan Bahmann. “Not only can it be a very great help in quelling ravenous appetites, but it also automatically gets the metabolism going. Accordingly, proteins play a central role in overall well-being and effective weight control, regardless of fitness level or personal training goals,” Bahmann adds. He explains why protein is crucial to losing weight in this article.

Reason 1: Proteins increase the feeling of satiety

Proteins play a crucial role in achieving and maintaining a long-lasting feeling of satiety. This property is particularly evident in comparison with fats and carbohydrates. This makes them an indispensable part of a balanced diet. After eating protein-rich foods, people generally feel fuller for longer, which can help reduce total calorie intake throughout the day. This automatically reduces the need for snacks and the likelihood of cravings.

This effect is especially helpful for those who want to lose or maintain their weight. In addition, protein has the ability to dampen the release of ghrelin, the so-called “hunger hormone”. When ghrelin levels decrease, feelings of hunger are reduced, which decreases the risk of overeating and cravings. Through this dual effect – prolonging the feeling of satiety and inhibiting hunger triggers – protein assumes an important role for people who strive for a conscious and controlled diet.

Reason 2: Stabilization of blood sugar

In addition, a protein-rich diet helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Unlike carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall quickly, proteins provide a slower and steadier flow of energy. This helps to avoid sudden energy holes and the associated cravings. Particularly when losing weight, it is important to keep blood sugar levels in balance in order to have energy available throughout and not be thrown off track by feelings of hunger. Proteins therefore not only contribute to satiety, but also help to stabilize the energy balance and support the body in fat loss.

Reason 3: Protein supports muscle maintenance

During weight loss, it is critical to ensure that weight loss is predominantly fat rather than muscle mass. Adequate protein intake can help maintain muscle mass while dieting. This is so important because muscle tissue consumes more calories compared to fat tissue. Thus, a higher percentage of muscle in the body helps to increase the basal metabolic rate. It should be noted that muscle mass burns calories even when at rest, which increases total energy expenditure.

Reason 4: Proteins improve fat burning

Another important aspect of protein is its high thermal effect compared to fats and carbohydrates. This means that the body spends more energy digesting, absorbing and metabolizing protein, which boosts fat burning. Although protein provides about four kilocalories per gram, its high thermic effect results in a lower net caloric intake of about 3.2 kilocalories per gram. This additional energy expenditure during the digestion of proteins can increase fat burning in the long term and support the weight loss process.

Reason 5: Protein is easy to access

The good news is that no expensive protein shakes or other supplements are needed to reap the benefits of protein. This is because numerous natural foods contain a lot of protein. It can be found in both animal and plant foods. Animal sources of protein include meat (such as beef, pork, lamb), poultry (such as chicken, duck, turkey), fish (such as salmon, mackerel, cod), seafood (such as shrimp, mussels, crab), eggs or dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, cheese).

Plant sources of protein include legumes (such as beans, lentils, chickpeas), tofu and tempeh, seitan, nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, chia seeds, almonds), whole grains (such as quinoa, bulgur, brown rice), and some vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, kale). It becomes clear that proteins are hiding in a variety of foods – there should be something for everyone. Thus, protein sources can be effortlessly integrated into the daily menu. When it comes to losing weight, this could be the key to success, as these foods are not only rich in protein, but also provide essential nutrients and important vitamins that support a balanced diet.

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