There are a lot of superfoods out there which you could add to your diet for a health boost. Of them all, my personal favorite is gelatin. Not only is gelatin good for bones, joints, and even fighting wrinkles, it is also being hailed as a “supermodel’s best kept secret” because it helps with weight loss. Here are the 5 proven ways that gelatin can help you lose weight.
1. Gelatin Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
With the high prevalence of diabetes today, you probably have heard about how important it is to regulate blood sugar levels.
When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose (sugar). The glucose goes into your blood and is used to keep you going.
But what happens when you eat too many sugary, carb-laden foods at once?
Your blood sugar spikes and the body releases insulin. Because the body can’t burn off all that glucose, it gets stored as fat.
Things then get worse.
After extra glucose gets stored as fat, your blood sugar levels come crashing down. Low blood sugar signals hunger in your body, causing you to crave more sugary foods.
This cycle of fat storage and sugar cravings can lead to obesity. You’ve got to keep your blood sugar levels stable to get out of the vicious cycle.
How does gelatin help?
New research is showing how the glycine in gelatin helps support insulin production so blood sugar levels remain stable. Research (such as this and this) are even looking into glycine as a treatment for insulin resistance and diabetes.
In a nutshell? Gelatin helps you get more lasting energy from your food so you don’t get stuck in a vicious cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes.
2. Gelatin Blocks Sugar Cravings
When you’ve gotten used to eating carb-laden foods like white bread, overcoming sugar cravings can be tough. The amino acid glycine in gelatin can be your friend in this battle.
The first way that gelatin helps block sugar cravings is by regulating blood sugar levels as talked about above.
When your blood sugar doesn’t go crashing down, your body won’t feel cravings for super sugary foods to replace the glucose.
Taking things further, the glycine in gelatin is also shown to help with the process of gluconeogenesis in the liver, which means your body is better able to get energy from fat and protein in food so you don’t have to rely on sugary foods.
The other way that gelatin helps block sugar cravings is because it contains glycine. Glycine is is one of the two inhibitory (aka calming) neurotransmitters in the body. It helps block stress signals from the brain so they don’t reach the receptor sites.
I probably don’t have to tell you that you will find it easier to resist sugar cravings if you aren’t feeling stressed! Stress causes a flood of the hormone cortisol, which in turn causes sugar cravings because the body thinks it needs energy to deal with the stressor. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that increased stress hormones could cause sugar craving to increase by as much as three times!
3. Gelatin is a Good Source of Protein
If you want to lose weight, your protein intake is important. The Institute of Medicine recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.36 grams per pound of body weight).
Instead of carb-heavy meals, your meals should each contain a larger portion of protein. Protein has been repeatedly shown to make people feel full longer and eat less.
One easy way to get more protein into your diet is with gelatin. Just add a scoop into meals. If you don’t want the food or drink to gel (like your tea or coffee for instance), then use Collagen Hydrolysate instead.
As I describe here about the difference between gelatin and collagen, they are basically the same thing and will provide the same weight loss benefits – it’s just that gelatin gels and collagen doesn’t.
4. Gelatin Boosts Muscle Formation
One of the reasons that starvation diets are so bad for weight loss is because they cause muscle loss too.
You need to have muscle weight if you want to keep fat off. Why? Because muscle burns more calories than fat.
As your muscle weight decreases, your body won’t need as many calories to sustain itself. Your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn while doing nothing) will decrease. Weight loss stagnates and maintaining any weight loss becomes difficult.
Because gelatin is a good source of protein – including proteins which are largely lacking in typical diets – it can be very helpful for maintaining muscle mass while dieting.
Gelatin also boosts Human Growth Hormone levels and creatine levels, thus making it great for boosting muscle formation so your BMR doesn’t suffer.
5. Gelatin is a Guiltless Snack
While calories aren’t everything when it comes to weight loss, they still do matter. If you consume lots of extra calories through snacking, you will obviously have a harder time shedding weight.
This is one of my personal favorite ways gelatin helps weight loss. If you want a delicious, low-calorie snack that you can munch on throughout the day, there are several ways you can do that with gelatin.
This homemade orange jello recipe, for example, has approximately 308 calories for the entire tray. Even if I could somehow eat all of them, I wouldn’t feel too bad about it. 😉
How to Use Gelatin Supplements for Weight Loss
Let’s be clear: you can’t just add a few scoops of gelatin to your morning smoothie and expect to lose lots of weight.
Losing weight and keeping it off involves a long-term commitment to eating real foods, eating them in moderation, getting enough nutrients, balancing hormones, and factors like adequate sleep and stress management.
But gelatin can give you that extra help you need to make your weight loss goals happen.
If you want the weight loss benefits of gelatin but don’t want your food to gel, then choose collagen instead. It is basically the same thing as gelatin, but won’t make your food gel.
You could also take a gelatin supplement, though they tend to be pricier than gelatin powder.
- Gelatin: Good for smoothies, gummies, and sauces. I like this brand of gelatin.
- Collagen: Won’t gel and has no taste, so can be added to any liquid such as your morning coffee or a cup of water. I like this brand of collagen.
- Supplements: Good if you don’t want to bother mixing gelatin into food. I like this brand of gelatin capsules.
Remember, quality matters when it comes to using gelatin for weight loss! Don’t expect to get any benefits with that chemically-made, processed jello you find at the stores. Opt for real gelatin.
Want to learn more about gelatin’s health benefits and get lots of gelatin recipes that you can make every day? Download The Gelatin Secret.
Have you tried gelatin for weight loss? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!
Sources for this article:
Hochstenbach-Awelen, A., et al. No long-term weight maintenance effects of gelatin in a supra-sustained protein diet. Physiology and Behavior (published ahead of print; available online May 10, 2010)
Ballantyne, Sarah (2014-02-03). The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body (Kindle Locations 6039-6042). Victory Belt Publishing. Kindle Edition.