Does Protein Make You Gain Weight Or Lose Weight

Benefits For Weight Gain

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Whey protein, consumed as part of a weight gain diet, can also help you pack on pounds. Simply adding a whey protein shake to your typical diet can promote weight gain. If you drink a 250-calorie whey protein shake on top of what you’d need to maintain your weight, you would gain weight at a rate of slightly more than a half-pound per week.

Adding whey to your routine might also help you bulk up and add lean muscle to your frame, as long as you pair it with strength training exercises. Whey serves as an ideal source of protein for post-workout recovery, according to a review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in December 2012, due to its high protein quality and bioavailability. That means taking a whey shake after a tough strength workout provides nutrients you need to support muscle growth so you can add lean mass to your frame. For the best results, check the nutrition label on your whey supplement to look at the amino acid breakdown each serving should provide 3 grams of leucine for muscle-building benefits.

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What To Do If You Dont Want To Gain Weight Eating Protein Bars

Alright. You dont have to freak out immediately and think that protein bars make people fat. Its definitely not true, even though they can help people gain some lean weight in a healthy and natural way.

In case you dont want to gain weight eating protein bars, you should definitely pay attention to which protein bars you eat.

Just the way there are high-calorie protein bars, there are also protein bars which are very low in calories and theyre perfect for someone whos trying to lose weight.

Such protein bars help people still get the right amount of protein, carbs, and necessary fat for their day, without eating unhealthy fat, or without eating sugar and artificially sweetened products.

Also, if youre trying to lose weight, like me, Id recommend you to maybe stick to one protein per day, or even one protein bar every other day. Its something that worked very well for me, and I used protein bars on days where I couldnt reach the necessary amount of protein for the day.

As I said before, what I love about protein bars the most is their versatility. Theyre good for both gaining and losing weight, but you just have to pay attention to the ones you eat.

Protein Is Hard To Store As Body Fat

During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy is stored as fat is important.

The body processes the three different macronutrients in very different ways.

Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or protein.

This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.

One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency .

During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat.

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Digesting And Metabolizing Protein Burns Calories

After you eat, some calories are used for the purpose of digesting and metabolizing the food.

This is often termed the thermic effect of food .

Although not all sources agree on the exact figures, it is clear that protein has a much higher thermic effect compared to carbs and fat .

If we go with a thermic effect of 30% for protein, this means that 100 calories of protein only end up as 70 usable calories.

Bottom Line:

About 20-30% of protein calories are burned while the body is digesting and metabolizing the protein.

How Do I Know The Best Protein Powder For Weight Gain

Do Protein Shakes Make You Gain Weight?

To answer the question, does protein help you gain Weight, you can try the protein powder and find out the answer. As we discussed in the earlier section of this article, the decision of choosing the right weight gain powder depends on various factors like a person vegetarian or nonvegetarian, does that person have any kidney problem, is he or she a diabetic person or not, budget and many more. But the recommended powder for one person may not suit another because each individual is different in their genetics and the way each source of protein behaves. Hence, one has to consider all these aspects and have to choose the better one which suits them.

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Its A Part Of An Unbalanced Diet

Instead of asking if your protein shake is making you gain weight, you should be asking if your overall diet is making you gain weight. You could drink the healthiest, cleanest shake on the planet, but if its a part of an overly-caloric diet, youll likely still gain weight.

But if you drink a protein shake as a part of a balanced diet, then youll be better equipped to stay on track with reaching your target weight.

Will It Make Me Gain Weight

Generally speaking, determining whether you will gain or lose weight is a simple calculation of calories ingested minus calories used any that are left over are stored as fat. This holds true for protein as well, although it adds a dimension to this calculation: protein builds and preserves muscle, and muscle is dense.

In fact, this is what makes whey a favorite of athletes and fitness fanatics. No source of protein is better for helping you to gain muscle mass as part of an active lifestyle. Thats because whey has the highest leucine content among proteins. This could lead to some weight gain, but any pounds added through working out and consuming protein will be muscle a healthy and welcome addition to the body, in most cases.

Aside from those who use it to purposefully bulk up, people who use whey protein are actually more likely to lose weight as a result. As mentioned above, consuming protein boosts your metabolism and makes you feel full for longer periods of time, two features that aid in weight loss. As an added bonus, you can be reasonably certain that any weight you lose will be mostly fat, since the proteins preserve the muscles in the body.

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How Weight Gain Works

Both weight gain and weight loss have to do with the number of calories you burn every day versus the number you consume. If you consistently burn more calories than you eat, youll lose weight gradually. If you eat more than you burn, however, youll put on weight whether or not those extra calories come from carbs, fat or protein. Eating an excess of 3,500 calories, and not using them for energy, will equal one pound of weight gained.

Positive Sources Of Protein

How Eating More Protein Helps You Lose Weight

As well as protein supplements, which are typically low in calories and fat with high-quality protein, there is a range of healthy options that are high in protein.

Fish, such as tuna and salmon, are excellent sources of protein. As a lean protein option, you will benefit from their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as B-12 and D. A six-ounce portion of salmon contains some 34 grams of proteins and just 18 grams of fat.

Chicken and turkey are beloved by gym-goers for their range of benefits. They are high in protein, low in fat, and can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease compared to eating red meat .

Legumes, such as lentils, peas, and beans, are likewise high in protein while having little fat. Nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, and cashews, are another healthy option that is high in protein.

Other positive sources of protein you can consider adding to your diet include lower-fat dairy products, eggs, and grain-based products.

Learn More:Grass-Fed Whey Recipes

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Ensure For Weight Gain

If you’re trying to regain weight after an illness or you’re looking to bulk up, Ensure products may serve as a convenient drink to provide those calories. Just as with weight loss, weight gain requires that you shift your caloric intake. For weight gain, you need to eat more calories than your body needs. To gain healthfully, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that your extra calories come from nutrient-rich sources, which might include nutrient-fortified products such as Ensure.

As higher calorie options, original Ensure and Ensure Plus can help you meet those calorie needs in a smaller volume. This is especially important for those who have a poor appetite but are trying to gain weight. Ensure also offers a powdered version of Original Ensure — in addition to Ensure Active High-Protein powder — which you can use to boost the calories in your drink. Mixing 2 tablespoons of original Ensure powder to your morning cup of milk or lunchtime yogurt adds an extra 60 calories. To really boost calories, make your 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal with an 8-ounce serving of Ensure Plus, to create a 500-calorie bowl of oatmeal.

Original Ensure powder is a concentrated source of nutrients and you should use it with caution. This is especially true for older adults and those who have kidney disease. Getting too much protein without enough fluid can tax the kidneys and may possibly lead to dehydration.

The Best Protein Sources

Not all protein sources are created equal and some are better than others. You ideally want to consume a complete protein, which is a protein source that provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids. These are the ones that the body cannot produce on its own and need to be obtained from the diet.

Foods obtained from animals are complete proteins, but you can also get some great plant based proteins as well. Here are some of the best sources of protein that you should try and include in your diet.

  • Eggs not only are they a complete protein source, they also come with a wide range of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus and selenium. A large egg will provide you with roughly 6 g of protein.
  • Fish especially oily types such as salmon are great. They promote bone, brain, heart, eye and skin health. A 135 g fillet of salmon has 25 30 g of protein.
  • Legumes beans and lentils are high in both protein & fiber and are excellent sources for vegetarians and vegans. A cup of boiled kidney beans has 15 g of protein.
  • Nuts & seeds again, these are great for vegetarians and vegans. Nuts are high in fat, so they should be eaten in moderation a handful a day is fine.
  • Meats lean meats such as chicken and turkey are some of the best protein sources available.

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Why Protein Shakes May Make You Gain Weight

Are you drinking protein shakes often and starting to see your weight creep upward?

As with most foods, its certainly possible to go overboard, says Melissa Morris, Ed.D., a nutrition professor at the University of Tampa. When that happens, you may see some weight gain as a result.

If thats your goal, great. But if you dont want to gain weight, there are two major things to keep in mind: whats in your shake, and how many calories youre consuming overall.

You’re Eating Too Much Protein

Do Protein Shakes Help You Lose Weight or Build Muscle?

Despite all this talk about getting more protein in your diet, the fact is that most Americans are getting enough in their regular diets. Not only that, but some peopleparticularly men between the ages of 19 and 70are actually consuming even more protein than the daily recommended amount, according to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines. What does that mean? Even though protein is good for you, it still has calories, which means that eating too much of it may cause you to gain weight. If you’re not working out, are following a regular diet, and are supplementing your diet with regular protein shakes, you may be increasing your calorie intake beyond your basal metabolic rateor how many calories you need per day to maintain your current weight.

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What Are Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are drinks made by mixing protein powder with water or another liquid, although other ingredients are often added as well.

They can be a convenient addition to your diet, especially when your access to quality high-protein foods is limited.

Although most people dont need protein shakes to meet daily protein requirements, they can be useful if you need to increase your intake or have trouble meeting your needs through food alone.

You can buy protein powder and mix it yourself, or you can get many different brands of premade liquid shakes.

Some of the most popular types of protein powder on the market are:

  • Whey protein: quickly absorbed, dairy-based, contains all the essential amino acids (
  • )

Certain protein powders and drinks contain a mix of different types of protein.

For example, many plant-based brands combine types to complement amino acid profiles. Some dairy-based protein powders combine whey and casein to provide both immediate and longer-lasting effects on muscle synthesis.


Protein shakes can contain different types of protein, each with their own nutrient profiles and possible benefits.

Protein has been shown to help .

One key reason for this is that protein generally helps you feel satisfied for longer than other macronutrients. This is due in part to the release of satiety hormones GLP-1 and PYY (

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Protein may decrease your appetite by affecting your hunger hormones. It may also help you feel full for longer.

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Can Whey Protein Reduce Food Cravings

We will get to hunger itself in a moment, but first, let’s look at food cravings. Whether it’s a late-night snack or your favorite treat, chocolate, for example, our body and our brains often crave them. By eating more protein, we can significantly reduce our cravings for unhealthy foods.

One study carried out on overweight men found that increasing protein intake reduced food cravings by 60 percent . Furthermore, the same study found a similar result in the reduction of late-night cravings.

One of the benefits of choosing protein over a carbohydrate or fat macro is that the energy required to break down and store the protein is far greater than the energy exerted to digest the other macros. A great example of this is choosing to eat twenty grams of protein. Five grams of those twenty are exhausted, breaking down the remaining protein grams. Below are the typical taxes the body charges for breaking down your macros.

  • Protein – 25%
  • Carbohydrates – 7.5%
  • Fats – 1.5%

As you can see, the body barely burns any energy by eating fats thus, if the goal is to avoid unintentional weight gain, the best midnight snacks seem to be protein.

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How Can I Gain Weight Safely

Put simply, you need more calories than your body burns to gain weight. Safely gaining weight requires an increase in both muscle and fat. Gaining excessive fat, on the other hand, can be very unhealthy. This is why turning to the unhealthy foods that people often associate with weight gain is not an effective nor healthy way to gain weight. For weight gain, it is recommended to gain 1-2 pounds per month by consuming no more than 500 extra calories per day.

Protein is an essential part of any weight gain strategy, as protein is the building block of muscle. Without protein, your body is not able to efficiently build muscle, so the excess calories you are consuming will go towards fat. One potential drawback of increased protein consumption is reduced hunger, which can make it difficult for some people to reach their increased calorie goals. For weight gain, it is recommended that you consume between 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, although you can go much higher depending on your overall daily calorie plan. However, those who are underweight should consult with a dietitian to create a meal plan that is right for them.

Choosing The Right Kind Of Whey Protein


If you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle mass and/or develop better muscle tone, its important to choose the right kind of whey protein. Make sure your supplement formula is a clean protein powder.

A clean whey protein powder does not have added sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavorings. The presence of these synthetic ingredients increases the calories per scoop/serving of the protein powder which might increase your daily calorie intake beyond your set limit for weight loss.

Additionally, choose only fresh, healthy, and clean ingredients for your protein powder mixture. For a protein shake, for example, mix your powder only with water and a handful of fruits that are also low in calories and sugar. Skip the milk if youre working on shedding pounds. You can also mix whey protein powder with oatmeal, yogurt, and pancakes.

However you mix your protein powder, just keep track of the added calories to make sure that youre staying within your daily calorie limit.

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Reasons Why Protein Is Good For Weight Loss

With the continued excitement for eating low-carb and Paleo two diets known for having higher protein intake the popularity of protein is reigning high. As you undergo your weight loss journey, you might question why this macronutrient is so prized. Here are 5 reasons why protein can help you lose weight:


Protein is important because it helps you feel fuller longer. Having protein around slows down digestion making us feel more satisfied and less likely to go back for seconds. If this happens over the course of multiple days your calorie savings can help with weight loss.


I dont know about you, but when I come off a sugar high onto a sugar low I can make food decisions Ill later regret. Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream, which may help keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing and ward off future cravings.


The thermic effect of food is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat meaning youre actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.



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