Many nutrition programs promote the usage of protein shakes as a useful way to lose weight when used in addition to diet and regular exercise. Protein shakes are commonly recommended to help you lose a percentage of body fat when used correctly.
However, these protein shakes will not help you lose weight if you are already eating a bad diet. In order to maximize the benefits of using protein shakes, your diet should include vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and animal proteins. However, if you use the protein shakes as a supplement so to speak when you skip a meal or find yourself overeating because you are extremely hungry, they can definitely help you lose weight.
Drinking a protein shake to fill a spot where you would normally skip a meal, say for breakfast, you can use protein shakes for weight loss by achieving the best amount of protein that you need daily and it will help you cut out the unhealthy snack binges many people find themselves reaching for when hunger hits.
What to Consider When Purchasing Protein Shakes
There are many things to take into account when looking for a brand of protein shakes that will work for you. Not all products are made equal and similar to almost anything you purchase these days, this is one area you may not want to choose the cheapest option.
You are going to want to take the following suggestions into consideration when choosing which type of protein shake you want for your personal needs.
1. The Type of Protein You Choose Is Very Important
There are several different types of protein to choose from when choosing the best protein shake for you. Choosing the right type of protein will help you lose weight far more easily. Let's explore some of your protein options.
- Meat Protein: Choosing a lean, low-fat, high protein meat is crucial if using this form of protein. You want a meet that is naturally raised – no antibiotics or stimulants. Meat is one of the most common ways people naturally consume protein.
- Whey Protein: Whey is very popular and one of the first proteins many people try. If you are able to consume milk products, whey protein may be the right choice for you. It has no fillers and is full of amino acids. It is easy to digest and sends the amino acids right to your muscles via your bloodstream, which leads to lean muscles and aids in recovery after working out. Whey is also a great snack between meals and can aid in weight loss overall.
- Soy Protein: Are you a vegetarian looking for a protein shake that works for you? Soy is definitely a good choice for you. Soy protein contains glutamine, which assists with recovery after a workout, along with arginine, which helps dilate the blood. Soy protein also helps your metabolism to pick up its pace, which definitely helps you lose weight!
- Hemp Protein: Being high in omega 3, omega-6 fatty acids as well as containing a large amount of fiber, hemp protein is a great way to get stronger, gain muscle and burn fat.
- Milk Protein: Whey and casein proteins are both byproducts of milk protein. While milk protein is definitely a good choice during the day, it is not recommended for use at night. Milk protein is not commonly used on its own however. It is normally mixed with different proteins for the best results.
- Espresso: Believe it or not, espresso is actually a very good source of protein! Not only does it contain 15 grams of protein, it also contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins! It is definitely a great pick me up as well!
- Plant Protein: Whether you are a vegetarian, sensitive to soy or milk, or just want a low-carb diet, plant protein may be the way to go.
2. You Do Not Want Fats or Oils and You Should Pick One That is Not Packed With Sugar
A huge thing to take into consideration when choosing a protein shake that works for you is choosing one that is low in sugar. Think of it this way, if you are trying to lose weight, you definitely do not want to add more sugar, oils and fats into your diet! If your protein shake reminds you of a milkshake, odds are it contains far more than the recommended 5 grams or less of sugar.
Those protein shakes are more suitable as a recovery drink for athletes, not for someone trying to lose weight. When your protein shake has a lot of sugar, it causes insulin levels to spike, and due to the higher insulin levels, your metabolism is not able to kill fat cells as easily. This makes it far harder for your body to shed the weight. Another thing that makes these protein shakes taste better are the fats and dehydrated oils they contain.
These fats and oils are not good for your heart and they will definitely not help aid in your weight loss goals! You are much better off looking for a protein shake that contains around 3 grams or less of fat in each serving.
3. Avoid Protein Shakes That Contain Artificial Sweeteners, Preservatives and Dyes
There are countless supplements and shakes that are full of additives that are not only dangerous, but definitely not healthy to be consuming. If you see dextrose or glucose on the label, be aware that they not only spike your insulin levels, but also make it even harder for you to lose weight.
Do not use thickeners either. These include psyllium, soy, corn, and xanthan gum. These thickeners can wreck havoc on your digestive tract. Not only are they dangerous, but they are also a simple and cheap way for some supplement makers to cut corners. Not good at all.
4. What If I Cannot Consume Dairy Products?
If you are lactose intolerant or just can't seem to be able to digest milk proteins very well, you should stay away from soy protein as well. Instead, choose either pea or rice protein. Even if the soy protein you choose is GMO free, it can still mess up your hormone balance, which isn't good.
Since soy protein mimics estrogen, which can then throw your estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels all out of whack. If you are a man who suffers from low testosterone or are a breast cancer survivor, this is even more important, as you have already been advised to steer clear of products and foods that trigger estrogen to be produced.
Since rice and pea proteins are purely plant based, they are excellent proteins that are packed full of the best kinds of amino acids which are great for those who cannot tolerate dairy products or who suffer from other digestive and gut ailments, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Benefits of Using Protein Shakes For Weight Loss
Promoting weight loss:
Protein helps to build up muscle mass and increases how well your metabolism works. This means that you do not even need to work out to burn calories. Just building up your muscles by consuming protein will jumpstart the calorie-burning process.
Helps you create a healthier detoxification diet:
Many people use detox diets for a fast way to cleanse their bodies and lose weight. These diets can be dangerous if not done right and result in loss of muscle mass. By adding a protein rich shake into your detox diet, you can prevent that muscle loss and keep your metabolism working at a good pace.
Protein helps to maintain a healthy gut:
Since protein is rich in amino acids, protein shakes can be a great way to fix a leaky gut. In addition, it can help with any nutrient loss you may be facing.
Protein promotes satiety:
Consuming roughly a gram of protein for every pound of your healthy weight is a great way to help you feel fuller for longer. Protein is best known for its ability to fill you up. Therefore, say, if you are eating a salad for lunch, add a bit of fish or grilled chicken and add a protein shake made with real fruit to help fill you up and help you reduce your chances of reaching for an unhealthy snack between meals.
Protein helps maintain healthy hair and skin:
When a person is extremely overweight, doctors will perform bariatric surgery as a way for that patient to lose more weight and keep that weight off. Bariatric surgery includes gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. When bariatric surgery is performed, patients are advised to take some kind of protein supplement (usually a shake) to make sure that they consume their recommended daily protein and calorie intake.
By supplementing with protein shakes, the patient is less likely to suffer from their nails and hair breaking due to the restrictive diets they are asked to maintain. This is also true for people who do not undergo bariatric surgery. If your nails and hair seem unhealthy, you may be lacking nutrients that protein shakes can provide to improve your health.
Helps with stabilizing your blood sugar levels:
Protein can be helpful when it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, because protein slows down how quickly your body absorbs sugar and carbohydrates. This means your sugar won't spike like it would without protein.
Boosting the immune system and assisting in muscle recovery after a workout:
When you choose to drink a protein shake right after vigorous workouts, you can help ward off muscle aches, muscle wasting and aid in giving your immune system a much needed boost. High quality protein shakes can help keep your immune system running at its best if you drink them on a regular basis. This is due to the fact that when you consume amino acids on a regular basis, you are not allowing your body to break down as easily as it would without the added protein.
Consumer Beware – Excessive Protein Shakes For Weight Loss Are Just as Bad as Not Enough Protein!
If you suffer from chronic diseases such as kidney failure, you have probably been recommended to maintain a diet that is low in protein. As with any major health related changes, if you suffer from any chronic disease, please remember to consult your primary care physician before making any nutritional changes that could potentially affect your current health care regime.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the human body can only absorb a certain amount of protein at one time. Women, for example, can absorb around 30 grams of protein in a sitting, whereas a man can absorb around 40 grams of protein at a time.
However, these amounts may increase for people who are far more active, those who are professional athletes, powerlifters, marathon runners and other intense athletes. If you have more muscle mass you may be able to absorb more protein in one sitting as well.
Do You Find Protein Shakes Gross? They Probably Aren't The Best Choice For You Then!
If the thought of drinking a protein shake makes your stomach churn, there's no shame in avoiding protein shakes as your way of consuming an adequate amount of protein. As long as you are consuming roughly a gram of protein for every pound of your target weight, you can skip the shakes and aim to eat good quality, high protein foods.
For example, you could choose to consume fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, beans and lean meats. All of these are great sources of natural protein and will work just as well as a protein shake would!
There's no need to subject yourself to drinking something you absolutely hate when there are plenty of natural choices to choose from! Protein shakes aren't for everyone!
Protein Shakes For Weight Loss Suggestions
If you have made up your mind that you want to start consuming protein shakes as a supplement to your diet, there are several ways to make them taste better, which makes them far easier to drink down.
Make sure you have chosen a high quality powder to include in your mix. You can then add leafy green vegetables to add nutrients to your shake. You can add in some fiber by adding in dark fruits such as berries, since berries don’t have much sugar, which is an additional perk! You can finally add in some water or unsweetened almond milk and stir it all together to give you a tasty, nutrient rich drink.
A drink that gives you the added boost you need to get through your day and as an added benefit – it can aid you in achieving your ideal weight!
At the end of the day, protein shakes are not for everyone. As with any supplement, make sure you contact your primary care physician before making any changes to your current diet and exercise regime. Your doctor may also be able to steer you in the right direction about which kind of protein you should consider using when purchasing your shake powder!
There is a lot to consider when choosing what form of protein you wish to consume, and when it is all said and done, as long as you are consuming the right amount of protein for you, the sources you choose to use are entirely up to you!