Collagen For Weight Loss: Science Backed Tips, Dosage, Results
Guide to Collagen For Weight Loss
You want to lose weight, and you have been told that collagen supplements might help. But you are not sure if they are safe or how they work. Well, you found this article, so you are off to a good start.
There are many products on the market that claim to promote weight loss, but it can be hard to know which ones are effective and safe. For every product, there are 10 articles pedalling misinformation.
To make matters even worse, big supplement brands prey on your insecurities to make a sale. Just scroll your facebook feed... it is awful.
Fear not. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about using collagen for weight loss, including the science behind it, dosage recommendations and results.
Before we dive in, I'll mention my favorite thing that is better than collagen: bone broth. It has more protein and electrolytes, plus it has gelatin which is superior for making you satiated after drinking it.
The best one for this is the chicken bone broth powder from Bluebird Provisions.
How Collagen Works
Collagen is found is all of your bodily tissues from muscles and bones to skin, eyes and even your intestines. It's what makes meat tough and holds our joints together.
There are 5 types of collagen (1 to 5). Types 1 and 2 are the most common, while the others are used in specialized areas like the cornea of your eye or in our cells.
Our bodies are efficient making new collagen, but the process slows to a crawl as you get up in age. This is why we get the visible signs of aging. Wrinkles and creaky joints are a direct cause of the decline throughout your body.
There are some specific strategies for boosting collagen formation naturally that you mind want to try. They include lifting weights, specific movements, dietary supplements and reducing stress.
Does collagen help you lose weight?
Collagen products help you lose weight because the protein increases your metabolism, builds your muscles and tendons, keeps you satisfied to avoid cravings, is low in calories and high in protein.
It also has amino acids to fix your damaged gut so that you can digest food properly and absorb the nutrients you need. This goes a long way to restoring proper hunger cues.
One caveat before we get into the details. I'm not a fan of 'diet culture' and the way the whole industry tells us we are not 'thin enough.' Research shows that diets do not provide long term weight loss. In reality, you will probably lose a few pounds, only to gain them back next year.
That is because our biology has a 'set point' or 'settling point' for our individual weight. It is really difficult to override this system with willpower alone.
I would encourage you to learn to love the body you are in and always question any diet, food or supplement that makes big promises. Ok with that out of the way I'll share what you came here for.
Collagen For Weight Loss Benefits
Collagen for weight loss works because it makes you feel full, makes you burn more calories, suppresses your appetite, can reduce joint pain while building lean muscle and maybe even reducing fat. Woah, are you for real?
Finally, it restores proper gut health so that your intestines are more efficient at harvesting nutrients and calories from the food you eat. Let's dive in to the specifics.
1. High Protein Intake Makes You Feel Fuller, Longer
Collagen is 100% protein, which means that it helps you feel satisfied after you ingest it more than other macronutrients like carbs and fat. So what is really going on here?
High protein diets increase the satiety hormones (glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin) which can help with weight loss by making it easier for you to stay compliant and avoid hyper palatable foods (1).
By adding collagen protein powder to your food or drinking bone broth beverages, you are more likely to stay full for longer, which will help you avoid temptation and stick to your diet plan.
2. Suppresses Your Appetite
Similar to the point above, high protein foods keep the main hormone responsible for hunger, ghrelin, at bay. This allows you to go about your day without hunger pangs or thinking about your next meal.
Also, gelatin, which is a slightly different form of collagen found in bone broth is directly shown to reduce hunger by 44% compared to the protein found in milk (casein) (2).
High protein diets go a long way to helping reduce your cravings while allowing your body to stay strong and hydrated.
3. Increased Calorie Expenditure
When you eat more protein, you'll burn more calories because of thermogenesis or the thermic effect of food. This model shows that protein burns more calories than fat or carbs.
How does this work? Through absorption and digestion, protein literally causes your body to increase energy expenditure compared to fats or carbs.
So... all you have to do is eat more protein and your metabolism will burn slightly more calories throughout a given day (3).
4. Helps to Reduce Fat Accumulation
I thought this was a load of bs until I read the research. It turns out that there are a few studies showing that collagen powder supplements can reduce body fat, improve fat metabolism and reduce the size of fat cells.
Two of these studies are in rats, but one is in humans which shows that taking 2 g per day lead to a small fat loss of 0.6% over a 12 week period.
What I find interesting is that the study only used 2 g per day and the authors said the loss was observed after just 6 weeks (4).
This is a very small dose compared to what most people take for other collagen health benefits.
The other two studies were done on mice and rats, but show that rodents who are fed it reduce the accumulation of adipocytes or fat cells (5).
The researchers propose that it may have an anti-obesity effect in these animals (6). I would tell you that we can't extend this to humans without more studies.
5. Builds Lean Muscle
Building muscle is the best way to improve your body composition because muscle burns more calories than fat. This means that you will burn more throughout your day, just by being muscular, then you will being non-muscular.
Muscle mass also increases your bodies' ability to absorb water. One study in men showed that 12 weeks of weight training along with 15 g collagen improved lean muscle mass compared to those who did not take it (7).
6. Reduces Joint Pain
Collagen supplements have been shown to relieve joint pain and improve mobility in those suffering from osteoarthritis and athletic populations respectively. This is due to the amino acids getting shuttled into the joint to build new connective tissue around them (8).
The idea here is that if you reduce your chronic pain, then you will enjoy moving, exercising and doing activities that burn more calories than sitting and watching TV. This allows you to lose weight more easily.
Collagen can help with hair growth, but only if you do it the right way.
7. Restores Proper Gut Health and Digestion
Collagen containing foods (especially bone broth) helps to heal any inflammation in your intestines, stomach or colon. You may not know it, but most of our gut's are inflamed due to eating inflammatory foods, alcohol or other things.
This means that food particles leak through our guts and into our bloodstream, causing long-term health issues.
Restoring proper gut health is my number one tip for your health and well being. Why? It means that you can finally digest and absorb food properly.
Studies show that people with compromised gut health literally process more calories for food than people with healthy guts (9).
How to Use a Collagen Supplement for Weight Loss
Collagen in supplement form can help with weight loss when used the correct way. Here is how to use them for best results.
- Aim for a total of 20 g of collagen containing foods per day. Note: you get trace amounts from meat. But you really need things like animal skin, bone broth and small fish to get more.
- Make sure you are eating plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits. Particular red, purple and blue foods are full of natural anthocyanins which are rich in antioxidants and many collagen precursors.
- Drink one cup of bone broth first thing in the morning and one cup before dinner. This sets your body up to digest incoming meals properly.
- Check your progress after 12 weeks. Take notes on how you are feeling and your results.
- Be patient. Your journey is different from anyone else's. Take pride is knowing you are building sustainable habits that will last a lifetime.
Looking for a supplement recommendation? Read my guide to finding the best collagen powder for weight loss.
What kind of collagen is best for weight loss?
The best type of collagen or weight loss is a high protein bone broth because of the natural gelatin and electrolytes that you do not get in collagen powders or supplements.
Gelatin is the key to feeling satiated and full because of the gelling properties it has. And electrolytes help to keep you hydrated and give you sustainable energy so that you don't crash. If you are on keto diets or fasting then electrolytes are incredibly important.
You can't just use any bone broth you find on Amazon. It must have at least 11 g protein and less than 180 mg sodium per serving or cup.
Stay away from the flavored ones (chocolate, vanilla, etc) as they use fillers, natural flavors and yeast extract (aka MSG) that mess with your gut health and digestion.
I like the chicken from Bluebird Provisions. You can find it on Amazon Prime.
How much collagen should I take a day for weight loss?
Try to get 20 g of total collagen per day for weight loss. This includes all the foods you eat and any supplements you are taking. Many foods like steak, chicken wings and fish contain some collagen, so you can use this in your total.
See how you look and feel after a few weeks of regular use. From here you can increase to 30 g if you think it is helping.
How long does it take to see results when taking collagen?
It can take 12 weeks to see results from regular collagen use, so you have to be patient and diligent with getting it. That being said, one study reported fat loss results after 6 weeks which were then maintained at 12 weeks.
Does collagen slim your face?
Collagen will not directly slim your face, but losing weight and the skin building effects may help to naturally slim it down over time. It is important to note that no foods will slim your face on their own. This is because you cannot spot reduce fat.
You may lose weight and fat from your body over time, and that will slim your face as a byproduct. But there is no miracle product for doing this. Anyone who tells you is lying to you.
Since collagen peptide supplements help to improve skin elasticity, it is worth trying.
Does collagen help reduce cellulite?
While collagen is shown in a few studies to reduce fat cells, it does not directly reduce cellulite. Nothing does. That being said, you can work to lose cellulite over time when taking it combined with some a proper weight training and a lower calorie diet.
Collagen rich foods might help you lose weight in certain circumstances. That being said, your body is different from the next. you don't really know if it will work unless you try it.
I would recommend you think long and hard about your reasons for shedding pounds. Do you want o improve your health? Or are you doing it because you feel pressure from society that tells us that thinner is better.
You are beautiful just the way you are.
That being said, if you want something extra to try, consider using Bluebird Provisions bone broth. The 10 g gelatin in it will help you feel satisfied between meals. Plus, it's delicious! You can find them on Amazon prime for free shipping today.
Have you tried using collagen? Did it work? Leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear from you and can answer any questions you have.
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your primary care physician for advise on any of this.