Many argue that protein, of all the macronutrients, is the most satiating.
And the research tends to agree. But why?
Why Does Protein Help You Feel Full?
Studies have shown that protein is satiating because it causes our intestines to release the hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP), peptide YY (PYY), and glucagon.
What you need to know about these hormones is that they decrease blood sugar levels and will reduce your appetite.
So, if you’re looking to lose fat, these hormones are definitely your friends!
Interestingly, studies have found that protein has minimal effect on ghrelin, the hormone most commonly associated with hunger.
Protein has also been shown to increase thermogenesis, which means that not only is your lean chicken breast filling you up and keeping you satiated for longer, but it’s increasing your caloric burn as well.
You will have a much better chance of preserving your fat-free mass (including your hard-earned gym gains) If you decrease caloric intake but increase protein consumption.
How Do Different Proteins Compare?
One study comparing fish and beef protein and their satiating effects found that though both proteins were both effective for satiety.
However, the subjects (healthy, lean males) who ate the fish protein meal consumed 11% fewer calories in their next meal than those who ate the beef protein.
It is worth noting that all of these studies were performed under very specific, controlled conditions.
The way that we eat out in ‘the real world’ will likely differ wildly from the way that we eat in a contained laboratory setting.
People are complicated!
Eat what makes you feel good and keeps your overall health at the best it can be.