What Makes A Good Protein Powder For Weight Loss
How Whey Protein Can Help You Lose Fat
Whey protein isn’t just for building muscle. This supplement can help you lose weight, too. Here’s how.
Sleep, genetics, your training program, nutrition, and stress all play a role in how your body looks and how you feel. If you’ve reined in your diet and are doing tons of resistance training but you still can’t seem to drop body fat, whey protein may help.
Are You Getting The Right Amount Of Protein For Your Body
If youd like to know more about if you are getting the right amount of protein for your body and your needs, and if youre wondering if youre getting the right amount of protein to help with your weight loss efforts or hinder it, wed be happy to send you our FREE protein evaluation, just email us at and let us know youd like our protein evaluation. Well send it right over and then we can set up a time to chat so that we canreview and see how we may be able to help. Thats a great place to start to get a good idea of where you stand in terms of the protein that you need for fueling weight loss.
If youre wondering if youre absorbing protein and other nutrients properly to assist in weight loss, we can help you here too.
If you are someone who is bloated all of the time, or youre constipated or have other digestive issues, you likely have some issues with digestion that may not help you to digest and absorb what you eat well, including protein powder. This is something we help our clients with.
But regardless, its a great idea to start with our free protein evaluation and to understand whats going on in your protein world and if its helping your weight loss efforts are harming them. So again, just email us at and let us know that youd like to have our free-protein evaluation.
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How To Use Protein Powder For Weight Loss
Written and Medically Reviewed by Dr Babar Shahzad, BSc and MBBS on January 4, 2020.
Dieting by eating a lot of protein and avoiding carbohydrates is increasingly popular. While low-carbohydrate diet trends can be traced back to the original Atkins diet, the high-protein component has become popular more recently.
That can seem counterintuitive since we tend to associate protein powder with people with big muscles who to the gym a lot. Protein powders are often used for muscle gain, but depending on how you use them, they can also help with weight loss.
There are various ways this works, and using protein powder correctly is important for seeing results.
In this article, well go over how to use protein powders to lose weight, and why this works.
Now Sports Nutrition Soy Protein Isolate Unflavored Powder
This unflavored soy protein power offers 20 grams of protein, which is helpful for keeping you full, says Starla Garcia, RD, owner of The Healthy Shine in Houston. She recommends adding this to a smoothie with fruits and veggies blended in to increase the duration of fullness and bump up fiber.
Per serving: 90 calories, 0.5 g fat, 170 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 20 g protein
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How Much Protein Is Needed
Along with carbohydrates, fibre and fat, protein is whats known as a macronutrient. This means the body requires a lot of it to stay healthy.
In developed countries such as the UK, people tend to get enough protein from their daily diet to maintain a well-nourished body and maintain healthy bodily functions.1
If your body isnt getting quite enough protein, it has ways of letting you know. Look out for these signs:
- hair, skin and nails that are dull, flaky and dry
- muscle weakness
- loss of muscle mass
For adults, the general daily requirement is 0.6g of protein per kilogram bodyweight.2 So if you weigh 80kg, youd need around 48g protein daily to stay healthy. Increasing your protein intake might have benefits if youre trying to lose weight.
Those participating in regular exercise, particularly heavy forms of exercise such as strength training, can get more protein.
The upper limit is 2.2g per kg of body weight.3 This is only recommended if the goal is to gain muscle, as this much protein is likely to mean too many calories if youre trying to lose weight.
Were All Different And So Many Things Come Into Play Here
For example, what if you already get the amount of protein that your body needs?
Even if youre not consuming excess calories, if you take in more protein than you need, it can get in the way of your weight loss efforts.
In fact, if you already get plenty of protein and you try to add more in, but then CUT OUT OTHER FOODS THAT YOU NEED, youll fall short on the nutrients that your body needs to function at its best and that keep you healthy, make your metabolism run efficiently, provide you with energy and that also make the most of proteinlike certain B vitamins that help you to turn your protein into usable energy and to be used appropriately for muscle growth. So, clearly in this case, if youre adding in protein at the expense of cutting other important nutrients, protein powder isnt ideal for you.
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Collagen May Help Retain Muscle Mass
As we age, our bodies lose muscle mass and often replace it with fat. This loss of muscle correlates with excess excretion of nitrogen in urine and increased dietary protein needs in elderly people. Research has shown collagen supplementation can be effective in helping aging individuals maintain lean body mass and preserve nitrogen balance. In a study among 71-year-old women, patients who supplemented with collagen peptides demonstrated better preservation of lean body mass and nitrogen balance than patients who were given whey supplements4. Higher muscle mass helps with weight loss because the body burns calories faster.
Of course, retaining muscle mass is important for aging, but its also important in general when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy. If we want to stay active in order to keep our bodies strong, we also need to make sure we can help the body prevent injury and aches and pains. Arginine, which is an amino acid that can be found in collagen, has been found to help support overall strength in adult males7. It has also been found to promote recovery! This is important in helping you stay active and on the right track to losing that weight and keeping it off.
How And When To Use
Each manufacturer will have a specific set of instructions on shake dosages and frequencies. When people wish to drink a shake, they simply need to shake the bottle, and it is ready for consumption.
Although there is debate about when to consume a protein shake for muscle gain, a person should consider drinking it within 1 hour of their workout.
People considering protein shakes to lose weight may consume them instead of a meal or with a small amount of food. However, it is important to ensure the shake contains other nutrients beyond protein to help a person maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
When looking to purchase a protein shake, individuals may wish to consider the following:
- the protein type it contains
- whether or not the product contains dairy
- the amount of protein it contains
- whether the product is shelf-stable, meaning if a person can store it at room temperature
- whether or not it contains artificial sweeteners
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Which Is Better For Weight Loss: Whey Concentrate Or Whey Isolate
Both whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate offer many similar benefits. The difference is that whey protein isolate goes through a more rigorous filtering process to make the end product purer.
As a result of the filtering process, whey protein isolate contains a higher percentage of protein . Whey concentrates can be as low as 35% pure protein and contain more carbs, lactose, and fats than isolate powders. Additionally, isolates are often smoother and dont have the gritty aftertaste of concentrates. Whey isolate is clearly the superior choice of the two when it comes to weight loss because it provides more protein.
However, whey concentrates are the cheaper option. If you can afford whey isolate, go for it! But if not, theres no problem adding some high-quality whey concentrate to your diet so that you can still receive the benefits of whey protein powder.
Klean Athlete Whey Protein Isolate
This option is also high in protein with 20 grams per scoop, and also offers electrolytes for athletes, which can come in handy as a replenishing drink post-workout, says Garcia.
This would be best used for recovery to reduce the likelihood of sugar cravings and energy crashes that lead to excessive snacking or overeating at meal times later in the day, she explains. Mix one up and drink right after a sweat session for max benefit in the muscle-building and craving-crushing departments.
Protein Helps You Feel Full For Longer
One study measured subjects food intake over the course of a day after consuming 39 g of protein at breakfast. Subjects ate an average of 135 fewer calories for the rest of the day and reported feeling more full at lunch .
Another study reported the same effect but to a greater degree. An increase of proteins share of the diet from 15 to 30% reduced the subjects caloric intake by 441 calories per day. As a result, they lost an average of 11 pounds of body weight over the course of the study.
39 g of protein can be difficult to eat first thing in the morning thats the equivalent of about six eggs. A protein shake provides an easy way to get that protein without filling up on other nutrients too.
Protein powder can also help you avoid unhealthy kinds of eating. A diet consisting of 25% protein helped overweight men in another study to reduce their late-night snacking by half .
Protein induces hormonal changes in your body. Appetite is controlled by a variety of different hormones. Ghrelin is one of the most important of these. When blood ghrelin concentrations are higher, you feel more hungry. Eating protein-rich meals significantly decreases ghrelin concentrations .
Other hormones perform the opposite role signaling fullness, and telling our bodies to stop eating. One of these is cholecystokinin. Protein has a strong stimulating effect on cholecystokinin production .
Avoid Protein Powders High In Calories And Added Ingredients
Protein shakes are so valuable when developing a weight loss routine because they are low in calories, but some protein powders with added ingredients may end up including more calories than you think. Carefully research and learn about different protein powders and read up on their ingredients to ensure that youre not using one with high calories or unhealthy artificial ingredients.
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How To Pick The Right Protein Powder
With so many protein powders on the market, it may seem overwhelming to choose the right one to meet your goals. Some contain tons of added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other sketchy fillers. Dietitian Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, told POPSUGAR to pay attention to the ingredients and nutrition information when picking a protein powder.
Look for protein powders with no sugar added or ones that are sweetened with stevia, she said. Avoid protein powders with artificial flavors, colorings, and preservatives. Pea protein, whey protein, collagen peptides, brown rice protein, and hemp protein are all excellent choices. The fewer the ingredients, the better.
How Can Whey Protein Isolate Help Me Lose Weight
As its name suggests, whey protein isolate introduces more protein into your diet. Protein is one of the most useful nutrients for weight loss. Not only does protein help build muscle, but it also can increase your metabolism and satiety to make it easier to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Beyond that, though, protein powder is an incredibly easy way to add protein to your diet. Many protein-rich foods require cooking and that can be hard to do if you have a busy schedule. Protein powders can be mixed with water, milk, or other liquids such as smoothies and consumed quickly. Your body can also absorb whey faster than other proteins so that you can feel the effects sooner.
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What’s In Protein Shakes
Whats in a protein shake is up to you. You just need to choose your protein powder and your liquid of choice. Protein powder itself is literally a protein source whether thats whey, soy, pea or another thats been powdered.
The simplest type of protein shake contains just protein powder and water or milk.
The other end of the scale sees more complicated protein shakes with peanut butter, Greek yoghurt, oats, fruit juice or chia seeds.
Adding dried fruit, nut butters, cocoa powder, etc, ramps up the calories significantly and can turn your weight-loss protein shake into a weight-gain one.
Be sure to check the ingredients, as some protein powders also contain carbohydrate-heavy thickeners or sugar which could be detrimental to weight loss.
Be warned – protein powder on its own isnt known for its great taste, so it usually comes flavoured. Most people use milk or plant-based milks in their protein shakes for a thicker consistency. Use water or reduced-fat or skimmed versions of your favourite milk to keep the calories down.
Ice cubes are often used to help thicken protein shakes, too. Simply add them to the blender while you whizz up the powder and your liquid of choice.
Collagen Provides Fullness Unlike Other Proteins
Specifically, research has shown collagen peptides are even more satiating than some protein powders. One clinical trial found collagen to be 40% more filling than the same quantity of whey, casein, or soy, and individuals consumed 20% less at their next meal after collagen consumption than individuals who consumed other types of protein2. That means they consumed 20% fewer calories, thus promoting weight loss because less energy is consumed.
A lot of people use orotein powders for the purpose of promoting satiation, but many of these protein products can be packed with fillers and other unnatural additives for taste. Collagen is great because in its pure form, it had no sweeteners or otherwise. Clean collagen can help you stay full and satisfied without other unhelpful substances entering your body. When you feel fuller and for a longer time, you are much less likely to overeat the next time you have a meal. Less energy consumption is one of the keys to losing weight.
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Protein From Whole Meals Works In The Same Way As Protein Powder Does
Animal proteins, as well as vegan proteins such brown rice, fermented soy products, and hemp, are just as beneficial as powdered protein. They are, however, more difficult to come by and take longer to make than a shake.
A well-balanced diet that includes lots of natural protein sources, as well as protein supplements, is a winning combination for improving training and increasing muscle growth.
Are Protein Shakes Good For Weight Loss
That’s because protein shakes make a nutritious, low-calorie meal replacement. For example, replacing a 500 to 700 calorie meal with a 200-calorie shake may help people achieve the calorie deficit to aid weight loss.
So far research backs this up: A small 2018 study of obese and overweight Chinese adults found that those who replaced dinner with a 388-calorie protein shake for 12 weeks had a greater BMI reduction and lost more weight than those who ate dinner as usual. The protein shake groups lost an average of about 9.5 pounds whereas those who ate their regular dinner only lost about 0.5 a pound.
However, eating more protein doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight since any excess calories will end up stored as fat. In fact, most Americans get enough protein in their diet already. Therefore, it’s more about reducing the overall calories you consume than the amount of protein you eat.
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What Are Some Other Benefits Of Whey Protein
Whey protein can provide you with the energy you need to work out each day. In addition, if you dont get enough protein in your diet although most people do then supplementing with whey is an excellent source of protein.
According to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee with the US Department of Health & Human Services, whey protein is recommended for people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Its also recommended for men and women undergoing cancer treatments to supplement what their body loses during treatment.
Overall, whey protein provides a general health benefit, especially for people who work out regularly. Just ensure you arent ingesting too much protein as that could cause long-term negative effects on your kidneys and liver.
And if weight loss is your goal, then dont forget to incorporate a regular exercise regimen into your daily routine. Check out our PRO Plan to see how we can help you stay active, motivated, and focused every day!