The P3toLife program is high protein because from my research, protein actually scientifically provides the highest levels of what’s called the satiety hormone in your body.
This is the feeling you get when you truly feel in your inner core that you’ve physically AND mentally had enough to eat and don’t have that sensation where your eyes are wandering around the fridge still looking for more food to eat, even though you are physically getting full.
This study shows that “protein generally increases satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrate or fat.” And that, “there is evidence that modestly increasing the proportion of protein in the diet, while controlling total energy intake, may improve body composition, facilitate fat loss, and improve body weight maintenance after weight loss.”
This might sound surprising since most people say that ketogenic and fat are the most filling satiety-producing way of eating, but the medical studies I found, where they actually measured the level of satiety hormones, showed that it was protein that produced this.
This study showed that, “satiety was markedly increased with the isocaloric high-protein diet” – this was over a higher fat diet. The macros that yielded this positive result was increasing protein percentage from 15 to 30% of daily macros. You will notice that the protein levels of P3toLife are usually between 25-30% of the calories.
This study mentions that, “Protein is more satiating than carbohydrate and fat in the short term, over 24 h and in the long term.”
This study done on participants who first did a 500 calorie diet (sound familiar? This is even more useful for us since this is the situation we are in) showed that increasing protein in a post-weight loss diet increased the subjects ability to maintain their weight loss by 50% and stated the subjects had “increased satiety while energy intake did not differ.” What this means is that even though they did not eat more calories than the other group, they felt more satiated. Satiation is key as it creates a natural control over what you freely choose to eat or not eat.
Feeling satiated to me is the #1 important feeling to get from a meal because once you feel that way, you truly don’t want or need to any more for awhile. I had to find the studies to add but it’s proven that protein even raised the satiety hormone levels more than plain fat.
This study was run where people who initially did an 800 calorie weight loss diet, were assigned to 1 of 5 post-weight loss diets for maintenance. The results were that, “a modest increase in protein content and a modest reduction in the glycemic index led to an improvement in study completion and maintenance of weight loss.” The “high-protein and low-glycemic-index diet” that was 25% protein won (which means high protein, medium fat, low carb). This is the macro layout of P3tolife. This was a larger European study with hundreds of participants. What I also found interesting in this study is that, “the dropout rate was lower in the groups that were assigned to high-protein diets.” Again this shows that people found eating this way easier and more doable than any of the other ways of eating (including a higher fat diet). We are looking for how we can eat long term to maintain right?
Additionally in that same study they noted, “there were no significant differences among the groups in the recordings of subjective appetite sensations.” I find this interesting because it seems to be telling us that even though we might FEEL like eating the various different types of diets feels the same to us as far as what we are conscious of, it was the higher protein diet that really was bringing about different decisions and outcomes, so there must be a bunch of subconscious stuff that is happening – we are more satiated and choose to eat less or don’t feel the need to eat more, but we are not conscious that this is happening. And this is super good because that means we are NOT struggling with wanting to eat more and feeling like we shouldn’t. It means we are feeling content with our decisions with eating. That is what maintenance should be all about.
This study’s results showed that “body-weight loss and weight-maintenance depends on the high-protein, but not on the ‘low-carb’ component of the diet, while it is unrelated to the concomitant fat-content of the diet.” In normal people words, this means that what made the difference for successful weight maintenance was that the diet be high protein. If that high protein diet was combined with higher carbs or higher fat didn’t matter. Having more fat and less carbs didn’t matter – it was the higher protein that was key.
Additionally, the high protein is useful for any who may have lost some muscle on the diet, to help them recover that in a good way.
The study I linked to above also said this of high-protein meals as a benefit that they promote “maintenance or accretion of fat-free mass—in some individuals, a moderately higher protein diet may provide a stimulatory effect on muscle protein anabolism, favoring the retention of lean muscle mass while improving metabolic profile”
Also, you get more volume in your food when you eat more lean protein. Protein and Carbs have 4 calories per gram, whereas fat has 9 calories per gram, more than double. This affects the volume of food that a person can eat. Myself and many others like to be able to eat a certain amount of volume of food. Obviously the plan has to be low carb, so we can’t splurge there, but with lean protein we can so by having more lean protein in the plan, it allow us to have bigger meals.
This is why fat is more useful in smaller amounts as in ingredient in a whole recipe vs. the main ingredient, since it’s has more than twice the calories per gram as protein and carbs.
This study review mentioned that, “The weight of evidence also suggests that high protein meals lead to a reduced subsequent energy intake.” This is important for P3 because we have seen that a gradual increasing of calorie is what leads to a reliable stabilization of weight loss. But this means that you must eat less calories than you normally would those first weeks of P3. How to do that without feeling hungry and miserable? This is the answer. And in fact, many of the ladies, even in week 1 of the program, frequently tell me they were full and the serving size was actually too much for them, even though the total calories for the day were only 900-1000! That’s the power of the higher protein meals along with the extra fiber in the veggies. The result is the ladies feel they have PLENTY to eat, even while the calories are lower, so you never feel deprived on this plan, which makes sticking to it very easy.