Another reason protein helps weight loss


Losing weight is hard, but research shows that a compound released from digested protein can make it easier. Managing your appetite is the key to successful weight loss. While it’s true that you’re going to feel hungry some of the time (that’s the sign it’s working), trying to starve yourself and overcome your appetite through sheer willpower only leads to failure and binge eating. Some nutrients like refined sugars send your appetite spiraling out of control while other nutrients like protein and fiber have been shown to have an appetite suppressing effect.

Suppressive amino acid

One way that protein controls appetite is through the amino acid phenylalanine. Consumed protein is broken down into amino acids so it can be absorbed by the body. Multiple studies have shown how phenylalanine suppresses appetite and even improves mood and helps you burn stored fat. One study found that phenylalanine increases the release of an intestinal hormone called cholecystokinin in humans. This hormone signals the brain to feel satiated after eating and causes a reduction in subsequent food intake. A mouse study found that a single dose of phenylalanine caused an increase in another satiety hormone called GLP-1, it reduced levels of the hunger-hormone ghrelin, and it caused the mice to move around more. One of the reasons it caused them to move more is because phenylalanine is a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine.

The purpose of norepinephrine is to rouse your body for activity. It increases your focus, delivers blood to working muscles, and mobilizes glucose and stored fat to fuel your movements. Dopamine is considered the reward-hormone and increasing it’s levels in your brain is helpful for making your weight loss diet less unpleasant. Eating is a pleasurable experience and the dopamine decreases that typically come from a diet can cause people to quickly abandon their plan and return to a poor diet to get that good feeling back.

Easy to find

Phenylalanine does come in supplement form but that seems unnecessary since it’s pretty easy to find in foods, and much more satisfying than a pill. You can find it in meats like beef, pork, turkey, lamb, chicken, tuna and cod; dairy sources like eggs, milk and certain cheeses (parmesan and cottage cheese are highest); and in plants like soy (the highest source of all), pinto beans, lentils, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

As I’ve said before, you want to aim for 20 to 30 percent protein in each meal to reduce your appetite, improve leptin sensitivity, and prevent your body from digesting muscle tissue during weight loss. If you’re looking for some excellent examples of how to structure a high protein diet, check out our Clean Protein Weight Loss Formula.

Leave a comment

Log in to post a comment

Welcome Diet weight loss Supplements Food Food Tips Tracking Exercise HIIT App Focus lolo Connect Meal Plan Fun Fact Stretching Rehab Truth About Diets Workout Health Sugar Cardio Strength Training Walking Running Treadmill Elliptical Cycling Removing Obstacles meal tracking Paleo Primal Crossfit Hydration Fueling Workouts Muscle Building Event Training Nutrition self-defense Immune System New Year's Success Clean Protein weather Calorie Counting Artificial Sweeteners Sugar Free music motivation deep house new music wednesday Tabata medical conditions diabetes workout music electro anthems fitness workouts stadium jamz bpm pace songs beat-sync Tempo run lolo run house music edm pop High-Fructose Corn Syrup hardstyle Packaging Salt High Blood Pressure Hypertension Scale Protein Muscle Weight Obesity Soybean Oil Coconut Oil Fructose Soda energy boost fat burner Nausea High Intensity Counting Calories Fat Shaming Meals GO Sitting Weight Gain Alcohol Low Carb Salad Fat Fat-Burning Glycogen Athletic Performance Ketogenic Diet Holiday Tips Stubborn Fat Thermogenesis Brown Fat Diet Tips Vegetables Fruit Healthy Fats Quick Start Endurance Psychology Healthy Eating Whole Foods Saturated Fat Calories Fish Omega 3 Healthy Bacteria Microbiome Disease Cholesterol Sleep Meal Plans Cleanse Sport Race Training Performance Late Night Biggest Loser Leptin Weight Regain Lactate Brain Injury High Intensity Interval Training Rest Recovery weight lifting Calcium Magnesium Vitamin K2 omega-3 corn syrup Fish Oil Bryan Haycock Antibiotics micronutrients muscle cramps Fasting Eating at Night Autophagy Glycemic Index Breakfast Fiber BeatBurn Warm Up Cool Down Soreness Foam Roller Metabolism Jeff Galloway Race Meal Planning Insulin Healthy Food Knee Pain Rehab Knees Rehab Injury Healthy Bacteria Good Bacteria Appetite Overeating Cruciferous Vegetables Sulforaphane Cancer Heart Disease Cold Thermogenesis Appetite Supressing Energy Mitochondria Fasted Training Sleep Low Epigenetics Water Pain Adenosine Caffeine time restricted eating intermittent fasting aerobic fitness Boosters Heat training hormesis aerobic Sunburns UV Protection DNA Repair Depression Anxiety Stride Length Injury Safety Walnut Pain Relief NSAID Curcumin Willpower Fad Fast Food Time-Restricted Eating Addiction Night Eating Alkaline Water Acidosis Bone Osteoporosis Arthritis Cruciferous Grilling Carcinogen Brain Tryptophan 7 Minute Workout Interval Training Carnivore Diet Meat Smell Olfactory Reward