The Power of Protein

Get the Power of Protein!

Protein is especially important in our diets when attempting weight loss. Studies show that diets with higher protein and reduced carbohydrates appear to enhance weight loss due to a higher loss of body fat and reduced loss of lean body mass. The beneficial effects of protein include increased satiety (sense of fullness), increased calorie burning, protection from muscle loss, and improved blood sugar control.

The body burns more calories when digesting protein (a process referred to as diet-induced thermogenesis) than it does burning carbohydrates or fat.  The thermogenic, calorie-burning effect of protein has been shown to be as high as 22% (that is, it will burn 22% of its own calories just be being digested), compared with as low as 0.8% for carbohydrates.  Calorie for calorie, you will burn more fat while eating protein than while eating other food types.

Proteins are made of 22 different building blocks called amino acids.  Complete proteins contain the 9 essential amino acids your body needs to build new proteins.  Essential amino acids are ones the body can’t produce on its own. This means that you must eat foods containing the proper proteins each day.   Animal sources of protein tend to be complete, whereas other sources such as fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts are considered incomplete, meaning they lack one or more of the essential amino acids.

It is important to meet protein requirements to limit loss of muscle and other lean body tissues during weight loss.  If you fail to consume an adequate amount of protein over time, many metabolic processes slow down.  Your protein requirements are calculated based on your individual lean body mass and gender.

When it comes to weight control, the research is supporting the practicality and convenience of meal replacement supplements.  A recent study presented by Dr. George L. Blackburn at the North American Association of Obesity meeting tracked subjects following a meal replacement plan for 10 years.  On average, the subjects weighed about 33 lbs. less than people who didn’t use a meal replacement plan at the end of the 10 year period.

A study of 100 overweight people published in the August 2000 issue of Obesity Research showed that participants lost more weight initially and continued to lose more weight when meal replacements were used.  Half the participants followed a 1,200 to 1,500 calorie diet, while the other half had two meal replacements per day, plus one balanced meal.  After 90 days, the first group lost an average of 1.7 pounds while the second group lost 7 pounds.

The Center for Nutrition protein meal replacements are high quality, protein concentrated foods with minimal carbohydrates, fat and calories.  All of our meal replacements are screened to assure that they are of the highest nutritional quality possible to optimize metabolism and muscle strength while maximizing fat loss and minimizing hunger.

You can purchase meal replacements from our Center for Nutrition here

Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M. is a nutrition & weight loss specialist and the Founder & Medical Director of the Center for Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, P.A.

Dr. Tague is an Alpha Omega Alpha honors graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Tulane. Dr. Tague is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine. His medical practice has focused on optimum health, nutrition, and weight loss since 1996.

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