Protein is a vital constituent of a balanced diet and is indeed also an essential nutrient needed for weight loss. Getting enough protein can boost one’s metabolism, reduce their appetite, and help lose body fat without losing muscle. So can protein shakes help you lose weight? Yes, indeed. Protein shakes are an easier way of adding more protein to one’s diet and have been shown to help with weight loss. Many people consume protein shakes when trying to lose weight. In this article, we have tried to share almost everything you need to know about protein shakes and how they affect your weight.
First, What Are Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes are simply a mixture of protein powder and water, although other ingredients are often added for flavoring and additional nutrient boost. One can buy protein powder and mix it themselves, but you can also get many different pre-made liquid shakes. Many people consume protein shake before a workout for weight loss. Not only for people that work out, or are health conscious, or are into sports, protein shakes can also be a suitable addition to the diet when access to high-protein foods is limited, or to those who may be struggling to consume enough calories throughout the day or are trying to lose weight, of course!
Types of Protein Powders
Some of the most well-known types of protein powder available in the market are:
Slowly absorbed, dairy-based. Contains all essential amino acids.
Quickly absorbed, dairy-based. Contains all the essential amino acids.
Plant-based and is low in the essential amino acid lysine.
Plant-based and also contains all essential amino acids. It also contains soy is flavones, which may provide some health benefits.
Plant-based and high in, but is low in the important amino acid lysine.
Plant-based also low in the non-essential amino acids cystine and methionine.
So Now, Can Protein Shakes Help You Lose Weight?
Protein shakes will not act like overnight magic and kill your kilos! Then why are protein shakes (protein) linked to weight loss? It is primarily because of 2 reasons: cutting down hunger and boosting body metabolism. Let us look at them in detail:
1. Protein Shakes Decrease Hunger And Appetite
Protein makes you feel full for longer and instantly satisfies your hunger. When you feel full and heavy with protein, you tend to eat lesser quantities of other foods and thus the calorie intake is reduced/controlled. That in turn results in controlled weight gain / keeps you in check. This is how one can use protein shakes to lose weight fast.
In one study, a high protein breakfast helped participants consume up to 135 fewer calories later in the day. Another study showed overweight men who had been on a weight loss diet increased their protein intake to 25% of total calories. This increase cut their cravings by 60% and late-night snacking by half.
Increasing the intake of protein shakes from 15% to 30% of total calories has helped participants in another study consume 441 fewer calories everyday day without actively limiting their portions. Further, by the end of the 12-week study period, they had lost almost an average of 11 lbs (5 kg).
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should overload yourself with protein because the higher the protein does not mean the higher the cut in hunger. This is backed by another study that showed that shakes containing 20-80 grams of protein all have decreased hunger by 50-65%, regardless of the amount of protein present in their shakes.
2. Protein Shakes Can Increase Metabolism
High protein intake can boost one’s metabolism, helping in burning slightly more calories every day. That’s in part as a high-protein diet – especially when combined with strength training – might help you in building muscle. This can speed up one’s metabolism as muscle burns more calories than fat.
In one study, obese participants were given shakes with either 200 or 0 grams of extra protein each week. Those who were given the protein gained 2.8 lbs more mass when following a 13-week training program.
Researchers had given participants a combination of foods and shake in another study, providing either protein of 0.5 g/lbs or 1.1 g/lbs each day. After 6 weeks, those who were on the higher-protein diet gained 2.4 lbs more muscle and lost 2.9 lbs more fat.
However, it should be noted that your ability to gain muscle during a weight loss diet can depend on the amount of muscle you already have. Protein can also increase the metabolism rate because of the number of calories needed to digest and metabolize it. This is referred to as TEF (thermic effect of food). For instance, 15-30% of the protein calories are being burned during digestion. On the other hand, only 5-10% of carb calories and 0-3% of fat calories are burned during digestion.
3. Side Effects And Limitations
Replacing meals with protein shakes might help you reduce your daily calories, helping you lose weight. But eventually, you will have to start eating solid food again, which might cause excess weight to return if you don’t choose wisely. It is definitely not a good decision to start solely a protein shake diet to lose weight fast.
Also, if you are relying too heavily on protein shakes as a replacement for regular meals, you’ll be missing out on the nutritional benefits of whole foods. As protein contains calories, consuming too much can actually make losing weight more difficult – especially if you choose to drink protein shakes in addition to your usual diet and you’re not exercising.
An average adult will need around 46 to 56 grams of protein per day, depending on their weight and overall health. As long as one is eating a healthy diet, adding extra protein through protein shakes or other sources isn’t necessary.
To conclude, keep in mind, the key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. Choose healthy foods – such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein – and indulge in physical activities on a daily basis.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
1. Should I replace a meal with protein shakes?
Protein shakes can be consumed in a matter of minutes. However, individuals trying to lose weight with protein shakes should always remember that real and whole-food options are always a better alternative for anyone looking for a complete nutritional profile.
Though protein shakes are good as additions and support, it is never recommended that regular meals be substituted with a protein shake or supplement product. There is no real shortcut to losing weight – protein shakes, the right diet with appropriate nutrition, exercise all together form the path to weight loss. So simply replacing meals with a protein shake will not do the job. Thus is it essential to find balance and learn how to use protein shakes to lose weight?
2. What are the negatives of protein shakes?
Protein powders are obviously not made of protein only. They also comprise other ingredients. They may have added sugars, added flavors, or substitutes which may sometimes lead to sudden weight gain or blood sugar spikes in an unhealthy way.
3. Do protein shakes make you fat?
Protein reduces your appetite and hunger thus reduces your calorie intake. Also, it is believed to boost metabolism hence burning your calories faster. Thus in either of the cases, there is the scope for weight loss. Clubbing protein intake is an ideal situation to cut down on your weight in terms of fat. However, when it comes to muscle, protein helps in growing muscle and improving performance.