How To Lose Weight With Protein Shakes
Mia Syn, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master of science in human nutrition. She is also the host of Good Food Friday on ABC News 4.
Many people try to lose weight with protein shakes. There are many protein powders, pre-measured mixes and commercial drinks that might make this strategy an easy choice. But can you really lose weight with a protein shake diet plan? And if so, what’s the best protein powder for weight loss?
Are There Any Downsides To Taking A Protein Powder
Keep in mind that consuming a protein powder is not for everyone. Protein , fat + carbohydrate all contribute to your calorie intake so excess consumption of any of these macronutrients whilst trying to lose weight can inadvertently thwart your efforts. For some people, undigested protein will be fermented in the gut leading to excess bloating + pain so if this is you, you may want to reduce your protein powder serving size or avoid a powder altogether.
A high to moderate protein intake also makes your kidneys + liver work harder which has not been shown to be a problem for healthy kidneys + livers but for those with underfunctioning or over stressed organs, speak to your nutritionist + doctor about the appropriateness of a high protein diet. And finally, if you take any medication or supplementation that provides amino acids or amino acid precursors to the body, your dietary protein can compete with the uptake of your medication making it less effective. So as always, speak with your health practitioner before commencing protein supplementation.
Why Do You Want To Protect Lean Mass
When cutting calories to shed pounds, you will lose a combination of fat and muscle weight. But your goal should be to lose more fat than muscle.
More lean mass means a better body composition – helping you look more toned and lean overall. Muscle is also your storage place for carbs , meaning you can process carbs and store them more efficiently, the more muscle you have – leading to less body fat storage. So when it comes to losing weight, maintaining your muscle is going to be a huge benefit.
Also Check: What Kind Of Protein Is In Muscle Milk
What Makes A Good Protein Shake
For San Francisco-based personal trainer, massage therapist, and nutrition coach Jonathan Jordan, it all comes down to what is in your shake: many can be filled with additives and sugars, so he recommends making your own, and to reap the full benefits of the fruits and veggies you add by also adding a healthy dose of fat.
“Many of the key nutrients in fruits and veggies and other healthy foods are fat-soluble,” he says. “Without a little healthy fat to go along with them, you are literally, well, flushing them down the toilet instead of absorbing them.”
But whether you’re blitzing protein powder into a homemade smoothie or buying a ready-made shake off the shelf, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll want to consider opting for whey protein, which Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD, CDE, notes has been associated with increased weight loss, as compared to other protein sources.
Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition, agrees, calling whey protein “the gold standard” for muscle growth.
Jordan, too, opts for whey protein, noting that he mixes up a protein shake with BioChem Whey Vanilla every morning before work, while Moretti loves Garden of Life Certified Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein powder, which contains probiotics, too. Johnson also prefers whey protein, specifically F-Factor 20/20.
“The more fiber, the better the chances your protein shake will help you lose weight,” she says.
Should I Use The Peloton Three Times In A Week To Lose Weight
Yes, you should use the Peloton bike or tread three to four times a week to lose weight. Also, you have to choose a high-intensity workout plan to burn the calories, and you should add resistance to the training as well. High resistance training should be done three to four times a week to lose weight in less time.
Read Also: Premier Protein Clear Protein Drink Review
Protein Makes You Lose Weight Even Without Conscious Calorie Restriction
Protein works on both sides of the calories in vs calories out equation. It reduces calories in and boosts calories out.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that high-protein diets lead to weight loss, even without intentionally restricting calories, portions, fat or carbs (
In this study, the participants lost an average of 11 pounds over a period of 12 weeks. Keep in mind that they only added protein to their diet, they did not intentionally restrict anything.
Although the results arent always this dramatic, the majority of studies do show that high-protein diets lead to significant weight loss .
A higher protein intake is also associated with less belly fat, the harmful fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease .
All that being said, losing weight is not the most important factor. It is keeping it off in the long-term that really counts.
Many people can go on a diet and lose weight, but most end up gaining the weight back .
Interestingly, a higher protein intake can also help prevent weight regain. In one study, a modest increase in protein intake reduced weight regain after weight loss by 50% .
So not only can protein help you lose weight, it can also help you keep it off in the long-term .
Eating a high-protein diet can cause weight loss, even without calorie counting, portion control or carb restriction. A modest increase in protein intake can also help prevent weight regain.
It May Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Observational studies show that regular consumption of nuts is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. This is partly because they are high in healthful fats (
Research has linked oleic acid, which is the main fatty acid in almond oil, to beneficial changes in blood lipids .
One study in healthy adults showed that eating 66 g of almonds or almond oil every day for 6 weeks reduced their levels of low-density lipoprotein, or bad, cholesterol by 6% and triglycerides by 14%. It also increased their high-density lipoprotein, or good, cholesterol by 6% .
These beneficial changes in the blood lipid profile are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease .
Although about 50% of the calories in almond milk come from fat, it is generally a low fat product and probably doesnt have a significant impact on your blood lipid profile.
Nutritionists believe that vitamin E, along with bioactive plant compounds including polyphenols, are responsible for many of the health benefits of almonds. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are good for heart health .
Bottom line: Almond milk is high in vitamin E and contains healthful fats. Drinking it regularly may benefit your heart.
Recommended Reading: Which Protein Powder Can You Buy With Food Stamps
How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once
That said, the amino acids most closely linked to muscle protein synthesis , a process that switches on genes responsible for muscle gain are the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has far and away the most research linking it to MPS.
Now, MPS is just one piece of the muscle gain puzzle: total daily calories is hugely important, as is total protein intake, ones exercise regimen, sleep, and many other factors. While these are far more important than worrying about leucine some research has found people to gain and lose the same amount of muscle and fat whether theyre eating every day or every other day, so long as their calories are in check it seems that about three grams of leucine per serving is ideal for keeping MPS maintained.
Youll get that in about 20 to 30 grams of protein from most protein dense sources, including many vegan ones like legumes and grains.
So if youre eating 150 grams of protein a day, this might sound like you should eat 5 meals with 30 grams of protein each, so a meal every three hours. Theres nothing wrong with this approach, but its worth remembering that some research has found MPS to be about the same after six hours whether you ate two small meals with 30 grams apiece or if you ate a big meal with 60 grams of protein and then nothing else for six hours.
Aid In Cancer Prevention
found epidemiological studies indicating cancer has an inverse relationship to the intake of green and yellow fruits and vegetables. Therefore, nectarines fall into the category of fruits that may protect against cancer.
Anthocyanins are one of the phytochemicals nectarines contain. A 2016 study examined the effects of anthocyanins in cancer prevention it found the compound has anti-tumor properties due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and mutation-preventing actions.
However, the research authors state that much of this evidence comes from test-tube studies. With this in mind, further research is necessary to assess the value of nectarines in cancer prevention fully.
Don’t Miss: Premier Protein During Pregnancy
Developing A Workout Routine
While drinking protein shakes can certainly help you to meet your goals of losing weight, just incorporating shakes into your diet is not enoughexercise is key to losing weight. Because you must burn more calories than you consume in order to drop pounds, you may want to focus on high-intensity workouts. Cardio is one of the best ways to burn a lot of calories quickly. Running or cycling are popular cardio workouts that will help you to work up a sweat, burn calories and strengthen other parts of your body like your core and legs.
Most people who are trying to lose weight will focus on building up muscles in their core, but your initial goal should be to burn off excess fat before trying to build the lean muscle underneath. Swimming, rowing, using the elliptical and jumping rope are other great calorie-burning workouts. As you notice your weight beginning to drop, you can start to integrate more strength-building exercises into your routine.
How Many Months Should I Take Whey Protein For Weight Loss
If you regularly go to the gym to lift weights, do cardio, or both, or pound or pedal the pavement for your fitness fix, eating a high-protein diet can help rebuild and repair muscle damage for a stronger, leaner physique. A protein smoothie mixed with whey powder is a quick and easy method to boost your consumption. Consider investing in a tub of high-quality whey protein powder if you want to grow a larger, stronger, and leaner body.
Recommended Reading: Which Protein Powder Can You Buy With Ebt
Which Protein Powder Should I Choose
Make sure you choose a whey protein that isnt filled with nasty and unnecessary fillers or chemicals that your body doesnt need. Also check it doesnt contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Flavoured options are pleasant to drink with just water. Natural proteins are best used in a smoothie or recipe in combination with other flavours.
True Proteins Whey Protein Concentrate contains 80% protein content per serve, with small amounts of fat and carbohydrates. The other alternative is Premium Whey Protein Isolate , which contains almost 90% protein content per serve, with only trace amounts of fat and carbohydrates.
The decision about which to choose comes down to a couple of factors. For the best results, we recommend WPI due to the higher protein content, especially if you are following a low carbohydrate diet.
However, if price is a factor, then using WPC will still give you a great result and provide a high-quality protein boost.
For more information about whey protein, read our Beginners Guide to Whey Protein.
How Much Protein And Carbohydrates Do You Need To Gain Muscle
The optimal protein intake for gaining muscle appears to be between 1.6 and 2.2 g/kg, based on the most up-to-date scientific literature . The lower end of this range, ~1.6 g/kg, appears to be the point of “saturation” for most of the population and should be considered the target number for most people for optimal protein intake for gaining muscle. This translates to around 0.7-0.8 g/lb of body weight per day.
Carbohydrates also appear to be critical for maximizing muscle growth. Lack of carbohydrates in the diet has been shown to impair muscle growth in some populations, and the current guidelines for optimizing muscle growth are 4-7 g/kg per day . This translates to 1.8-3.2 g/lb of body weight per day.
Read Also: Does Ebt Cover Protein Powder
Matching A Powder To Your Needs
Here are some general guidelines, based on the outcomesyoure looking for:
How To Consume Whey Protein For Weight Loss
According to Dr Sood, it’s advisable to consume a small portion of simple carbohydrates before your workout and a protein-rich snack post working out. “Consuming carbohydrates before exercise helps mobilize fat in the body. Eating protein-rich meals after exercise helps you build muscle,” says Dr Sood. She recommends adding whey protein to your water, yoghurt or milk, depending on what you prefer. Furthermore, she says that a scoop of whey can also be consumed as a snack to promote satiety and aid weight loss. Dr Sood warns against using whey protein powders, which have high sugar content, as they might wreak havoc on your diet instead.
For an average Indian female, Dr Sood says that the daily intake requirement for protein per day ranges from 0.75 gm to 1 gm per kg of body weight. Meanwhile, for males, it ranges from 1 gm to 1.25 gm per kg of body weight. So, if you had your doubts on whether or not they will help you along in your weight loss journey, it’s now crystal clear that one can safely include whey protein in their weight loss diet. But remember, it will only get us the desired results if we put in the hard work in the gym as well!
You May Like: Premier Protein Clear Flavors
What You Need To Know About Whey Protein And Weight Loss
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight are some of the most common fitness and health goals and for good reason! Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Being at a healthy weight offers copious health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other illnesses. It can also have a positive impact on your mental health and happiness .
One of the most impactful weight-loss strategies is to implement small dietary changes. This can be anything from waking up early to eat a healthy breakfast, snacking on raw nuts instead of a chocolate bar, or introducing whey protein to your diet.
But wait, you say, those whey protein shakes are just for those muscled guys at the gym, arent they? Nope! While whey protein does help build muscle, it can do so much more and is an easy, safe, and affordable way to help with weight loss. Intrigued? We thought you might be. Here are our answers to your most common questions about using whey protein for weight loss.
Using Protein Drinks Correctly
As with any food or drink, not all protein drinks are the same. According to the Mayo Clinic, most adults require only 46 to 56 grams of protein per day, while bodybuilders generally multiply their weight by 10 to figure out how much protein they need. There’s a huge difference between those two numbers, but as long as you don’t fall below 46 grams per day, you should be fine. Many protein drinks and powders are just milkshakes with a handful of whey powder tossed in, so read the labels before you purchase them.
Homemade protein shakes are simple to make in the blender. Start with nonfat yogurt and either milk, soy milk or nut milk. Add a banana for potassium, and flavor your drink with any combination of fruits and vegetables that you like. Add a scoop of peanut butter or other nut butter or a good quality protein powder and some ice, and you have a frothy, delicious, protein-packed drink to replenish your body after a run.
Do not put raw eggs or raw meat into your protein shakes. No matter how dedicated a runner you are, you’re neither Rocky nor Bruce Lee, and you don’t need the risk of salmonella or e. coli.
Read Also: Nature Valley Protein Bars Bodybuilding