Collagen is a hot topic in the wellness industry. Fitness and health influencers alike are singing its praises for plump, youthful skin, muscle recovery and strong, supple joints…
At the same time, as a relative newcomer to the supplement scene, there are still some myths, particularly when it comes to weight gain.
Debunking this myth is Catherine Clark, Owner and Founder of The Harvest Table. She says, “While there is no miracle cure for losing weight, collagen is a very powerful tool that can help you shed those unwanted kilograms.”
Does collagen make you fat?
So, where does the idea that collagen can make you fat come from? Catherine says that as part of the natural aging process, our muscle-mass decreases and often, it is replaced by fat. “By taking a collagen supplement you will be able to build more lean muscle mass. Muscle is however firmer and denser than fat and as a result, the same volume of muscle will weigh more than an equal volume of fat. So, the combination of collagen and exercise may result in weight gain but that means that the supplement is doing its job to help you build leaner muscles.”
She adds that an increase in lean muscle is great news for weight loss as muscle burns calories faster than fat. “More muscle fires up your metabolism and your body becomes a calorie burning machine. So, if you couple collagen with a sensible, healthy diet, you should lose or maintain a healthy weight in addition to looking and feeling great.”
Can collagen help you lose weight?
Supporting your weight loss goals is also the fact the collagen makes you feel fuller for longer. Catherine explains that collagen is broken down by enzymes and turns it into amino acids – which are the basic building blocks of all protein. And protein is known to be the most effective “crave-curbing” and satiating of all macronutrients. “In fact, collagen peptides have been shown to be more effective for satiety than other forms of protein. And, let’s be honest, when your brain isn’t screaming for food, it’s far easier to make healthy choices about what you eat and how often.”
This is supported by a study published on the National Library of Medicine’s website that measured collagen’s effect on satiety levels among obese and diabetic patients. After taking collagen, the participants found that their appetites were reduced, resulting in a decrease in their overall food intake. In addition, the diabetics in the group found they were able to lose weight by eating less because the collagen protein played an important role in reducing their appetites.
While these results are encouraging for people who want to lose weight, Catherine reminds us that weight loss should be a gradual process and a combination of exercise and a well-balanced diet. “Collagen, when supplemented correctly, definitely has a hand in appetite suppression which leads to weight reduction. It has so many benefits for your health and will help you to stay in top condition for the gym and other physical activities that support weight loss.”