Though it seems tough, weight loss is a matter of a simple mathematical equation. It holds the key to reducing your risk for chronic disease and early mortality. For optimal health, you need to balance the amount of calories you take in with the amount you expend.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that excess calories result in an increase in body fat. However, protein also plays a role. Researchers found that normal to high protein consumption increased resting and total energy expenditure. Low-protein consumption did not impact either figure.
Even when you are not active, your body invests 20 to 40 percent of its energy resources maintaining the proper internal chemical balance. Carbohydrates and fats provide the primary sources of energy for your body. However, the fact that protein can affect this basic mean of energy expenditure speaks of its importance toward maintaining homeostasis.
The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010” recommend that adults get 10 to 35 percent of their daily caloric intake from protein. These findings show that keeping to these recommendations are essential, especially for those consuming more on a daily basis than they expend through exercise and other activities.
If you overeat, you will gain weight. If you don’t get adequate protein on top of that, you may be compounding your problems with weight control. These findings also support the recommendation that your diet should focus on nutrient-dense foods. With a limited calorie budget, it makes sense to focus on the foods that will provide the most health benefits.
Protein provides the raw materials for your body to produce other essential components, such as hemoglobin to transport oxygen in your blood, collagen for tissue development and hormones to regulate body function. A deficiency means that your body is lacking in the nutrients it needs to maintain itself. It also shows a mechanism for the effects of protein consumption on energy expenditure.
The takeaway message from the findings of this study is that it is not just calories alone that affect how you gain weight. It underscores the importance of a good diet and caloric balance as the blueprint for good health.