Understanding the Role of Protein in Weight Loss

Understanding the Role of Protein in Weight Loss

People often ask, “Will high-protein foods help you lose weight?”

If you are on a weight loss journey, protein should be your key companion! Protein is a macronutrient that plays several crucial roles in weight loss and is an essential tool of any effective weight loss strategy.

In this blog, discover how a high-protein diet keeps you feeling full, boosts calorie burn, preserves muscle mass, supports body composition, and aids workout recovery. We will also explore protein-rich foods beyond meat. Let’s sculpt a healthier, leaner you together!

Five Ways Protein Plays a Role in Weight Loss

Curious about how protein can help you achieve a healthy weight and maintain it? Let's dive into five key ways dietary protein plays a crucial role in weight loss. From keeping you feeling full to boosting calorie burn, protein offers a range of benefits that support your journey towards a healthier weight.

1. Keeps you full longer: Dietary protein keeps you feeling full longer than carbohydrates or fats. By including plenty of protein in your meals, you're less likely to feel hungry between meals and reach for extra snacks. This fullness is because protein affects hormones like ghrelin and GLP-1, which control hunger and satiety.1

2. Boosts calorie burn: Opting for high protein intake can promote calorie burn. This happens through something called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Compared to fats and carbs, protein has a higher TEF, meaning your body needs more energy to digest and metabolize it. As a result, your calorie expenditure increases slightly.2,3

3. Protects muscle mass and metabolism: When you're shedding pounds, you can lose both fat and muscle. Increasing your protein intake during meals and workouts is crucial for safeguarding muscle mass, especially when you're cutting calories to slim down. Maintaining and building muscle matters because it helps maintain a higher metabolic rate, which means your body burns more calories even when you're at rest.4

4. Positively affects body composition: During active weight loss, prioritizing protein can help ensure that you shed more fat than muscle. This results in improved body composition, giving you a tighter and more toned appearance. By preserving lean muscle mass while losing body fat when combined with exercise, you achieve the healthiest outcome for weight loss.5

5. Boosts workout recovery: If you're kickstarting an exercise routine to support your weight loss journey, protein becomes essential for recovery and muscle repair. Having enough protein in your diet not only supports your performance during workouts but also aids in the recovery process, helping you avoid injuries. This ensures you can keep striving toward your goals with confidence and consistency.6

Common Questions About Protein and Weight Loss

Starting a weight loss journey can bring up many questions about protein. Let's tackle some common concerns about how protein affects weight loss. From how it keeps you feeling full to finding the best sources, we'll cover everything you need to know to reach your weight loss goals.

How much protein should I have to lose weight?

When it comes to protein, timing matters just as much as amount of protein. Spreading out your protein intake evenly throughout the day, instead of having it all in one meal, can make a big difference in satiety and muscle synthesis.

Research suggests that aiming for around 30 grams of protein three times a day—at breakfast, lunch, and dinner—is ideal. This ensures you get enough of important amino acids like leucine, which is crucial for building and maintaining muscle mass.7,8

While protein is crucial, don't forget the importance of a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients for healthy weight loss. Incorporating a variety of foods ensures you get all the essential vitamins and minerals, preventing any nutrient deficiencies along your weight loss journey.

What are the best protein powders for weight loss?*

For successful weight loss, opt for high-quality sources of protein such as lean meats, fish, dairy, and premium protein supplements like Unjury® whey protein isolate.*

With protein powders varying in quality, taste, and how they make you feel, it's crucial to find one that suits your preferences to maintain consistency in your routine.

Whey protein isolate is considered a gold-standard protein supplement for several reasons:

  1. It is a highly concentrated protein source with very low carbohydrates or fats.
  2. Whey protein isolate is highly filtered, containing less lactose, making it suitable for lactose intolerant.
  3. It is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs to repair and rebuild tissue.*
  4. It has a high bioavailability, which means your body will absorb it easily.

Remember, extremely low-calorie diets can lead to severe health complications. Always consult a healthcare professional before embarking on any drastic dietary changes for weight loss.

A registered dietitian is your go-to expert for learning how to increase your daily protein intake. They can offer tailored advice to help you meet your protein needs and reach your weight goals effectively.


To incorporate protein into your weight loss journey, explore beyond just meat. Discover a variety of protein-rich foods such as fish, dairy, beans, and nuts. Distribute your protein intake throughout the day to curb hunger and support muscle health. And don't forget, while protein is important, maintaining a balanced diet with diverse foods is key to a healthy weight loss journey.


1. Moon J et al. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(3):166–173.
2. Westerterp KR. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1:5.
3. Calcagno M et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2019;38(6):547-551.
4. Carbone JW et al. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1136.
5. Longland TM et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(3):738-746.
6. Turnagöl HH et al. Nutrients. 2022;14(1):53.
7. Verreijen AM et al. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2021;34(2):384–394.
8. Rondanelli M et al. Front Nutr. 2020;7:622391.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a qualified healthcare provider with any questions in regard to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.

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