When we first read the press release on this new study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we thought, 'duh.' We've known that protein makes you feel fuller (not to mention helps you build more muscle!), hence why we continue to bring you articles like 12 great uses for protein powder and 10 protein-packed soup recipes.
But what we did learn from this study is the fact that before now, researchers hadn't confirmed the correlation between protein intake and fullness. Yup, you were eating all that chicken and protein powder based on anecdotal evidence and less-than-sound science. But rest assured it wasn't a waste!
"A good deal of evidence suggests that protein activates satiety hormone release and so should be most strongly tied with fullness ratings," said lead investigator Richard D. Mattes, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.D., "but individual studies are often conducted in small populations or with different approaches that can make interpretation of results challenging. Our study combined multiple experiments to confirm the presence of an effect."
However, researchers don't know the exact amount of protein that's best for all guys and urge us not to go overboard with the stuff. (Though, chances are, you're not eating nearly enough!)
"The exact amount of protein needed to prolong fullness as well as when to consume protein throughout the day is not resolved, and our study did not determine this," said Heather Leidy, Ph.D., in the press release. Instead, they suggest taking in moderate increments throughout the day to feel fuller longer—and maybe even help you lose weight.
"Though this study did not specifically evaluate dieters, feeling fuller could help to reduce food intake, an important factor when dieting," concluded Dr. Mattes. "If these effects are sustained over the long-term—and our study only looked at short-term effects—increased protein intake may aid in the loss or maintenance of body weight."