Lose weight easier with whey protein
by Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D.
In addition to promoting muscle building and strength, there is evidence that whey protein may also promote healthy body weight and fat loss.
Whey helps you lose weight
In one study, overweight men and women who consumed 60g per day of whey protein lost significantly more weight and body fat than a group consuming soy protein or carbohydrate with no other changes in habitual diet and exercise habits.
Whey burns more calories
Whey consumption in conjunction with training has also been shown to improve the efficiency of exercise to decrease fat. Greater weight and fat loss could be attributed to greater thermogenesis. A higher quality protein source such as whey induces greater 24-hour thermic effects compared to soy. Since whey is nutrient dense, but relatively low in calories per gram (only four), supplementation is an efficient way to promote fat loss while maintaining muscle.
Whey decreases hunger
Another avenue that whey could enhance weight loss is by decreasing appetite. Protein in general is more satiating than either carbohydrate or fat. But not all proteins have the same satiating effects. Researchers from the Netherlands compared the effects of whey, casein and soy on several markers of appetite including actual caloric intake.
Subjects were fed a 600 calorie breakfast with either 10% or 25% of the meal consisting of a different protein source. When protein was 10% (about 15g) of the breakfast meal, whey decreased hunger more than soy and casein. At the 25% protein intake levels, there were no differences. Although not significant, the amount of food consumed three hours after breakfast was lowest after the whey protein breakfast. The findings provide evidence that different proteins affect appetite differently, and whey appears to reduce hunger the most when consumed with breakfast. This appears to be linked to the amino acid levels and appetite hormones in the blood.
Therefore, drinking a whey protein shake with a meal may make it easier to diet since it imparts a higher level of satiety than other proteins.