The health effects of fat and carbs are controversial. However, almost everyone agrees that protein is important. Most people eat enough protein to prevent deficiency, but some individuals would do better with a much higher protein intake. Numerous studies suggest that a high-protein diet has major benefits for weight loss and metabolic health (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source). Here are 10 science-based reasons to eat more protein.
1. Reduces Appetite and Hunger Levels
The three macronutrients — fats, carbs, and protein — affect your body in different ways.
Studies show that protein is by far the most filling. It helps you feel more full — with less food (3Trusted Source).
This is partly because protein reduces your level of the hunger hormone ghrelin. It also boosts the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full (4Trusted Source, 5, 6Trusted Source).
These effects on appetite can be powerful. In one study, increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories made overweight women eat 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything (7Trusted Source).
If you need to lose weight or belly fat, consider replacing some of your carbs and fats with protein. It can be as simple as making your potato or rice serving smaller while adding a few extra bites of meat or fish.
A high-protein diet reduces hunger, helping you eat fewer calories. This is caused by the improved function of weight-regulating hormones.
2. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
Protein is the building block of your muscles.
Therefore, eating adequate amounts of protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training.
Numerous studies show that eating plenty of protein can help increase muscle mass and strength (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
If you’re physically active, lifting weights, or trying to gain muscle, you need to make sure you’re getting enough protein.
Keeping protein intake high can also help prevent muscle loss during weight loss (10, 11, 12Trusted Source).
Muscle is made primarily of protein. High protein intake can help you gain muscle mass and strength while reducing muscle loss during weight loss.