After my diagnosis of PCOS with unexplained weight gain some 18 years back, I did an extensive research on PCOS. I learned that PCOS is an insulin resistance disorder. Losing weight with PCOS is extremely difficult for some patients. With exercise 365 a day and following a high-protein-low-carb diet, I was able to bring my weight down, though it was an arduous journey. I was reluctant to go on Metformin, a medication to treat PCOS. I diligently wrote down what I could eat and how much carb every food item that I ate weighed. I limited my carb intake to 100gm a day, which meant that I had to cut out rice, noodles and white flour products from my diet. My main meals consisted of a lot of meat, eggs and vegetables. I got my carb mainly from fruits and the occasional sinful indulgence on cakes and ice-creams. Even my choice of fruits were limited to guava, green apples, lemons and grapefruits.
Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss and a better looking body.
Protein can help you lose weight and belly fat, and it works via several different mechanisms.
Going on a high-protein diet may help you tame your hunger, which could help you lose weight.
You can try it by adding some extra protein to your meals. Give yourself a week, boosting protein gradually.
Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus.
In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information.
Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding.
A higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin (6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
By replacing carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones.
This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.
Protein Makes You Burn More Calories (Increases “Calories Out”)
Due to the high thermic effect and several other factors, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism. It makes you burn more calories around the clock, including during sleep.
This effect is particularly pronounced during overfeeding, or while eating at a caloric surplus. In one study, overfeeding with a high protein diet increased calories burned by 260 per day (12).
By making you burn more calories, high protein diets have a “metabolic advantage” over diets that are lower in protein.
The Best Protein Sources
- Lean meats
- Soy (only non-GMO)
- Low-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
If you plan to add a lot of protein to your diet, or if you have liver or kidney disease, check with your doctor first.