Are Protein Shakes Good for Weight Loss?

Are protein shakes good for weight loss?
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Millions of people worldwide, male and female, are looking to lose weight [1]. Often, they want to attract or hold on to someone.

And, of course, there’s just no end to how it boosts one confidence, as well as one’s chances in the workplace, and more!

That means people are looking for the quickest and most effective ways to lose weight without looking ill and wasted.

Protein shakes have always been a huge attraction for people who ask me: Are protein shakes good for weight loss for me [2]

Well, they have been used for weight loss for those who want to lose weight.

People not only replace a meal with them but also love the flavors.

And they are packed with nutrients.

So not only are they a good weight loss solution, but even bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts use a protein shake to promote their fitness and muscle-building goals.

Can you believe that the protein market forecast by 2030 will be worth a whopping $20.47 billion?

You will find the best protein powders and shakes on the market today. It’s not always easy, though, to figure out which one will be right for you.

Remember, to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit situation.

Protein Shakes and Weight Loss: Types, How It Works

So, are protein shakes good for weight loss?

Yes, protein shakes are certainly used for weight loss. Read here about being on the protein shake diet and what other foods to eat that align well with this diet [3].

When you pair your protein shake with a healthy lifestyle and fewer calories, you have the tools for weight loss.

That’s what Kristi Veltkamp, a registered dietitian says. Protein shakes make a low-calorie, nutritious meal replacement.

So for instance, you might swap your 500-700 calorie meal with a shake that is 200 calories and achieve a great calorie deficit towards your weight loss goals.

And research backs this up.

In 2018 some obese Chinese adults replaced their dinners with a 388-calories protein shake for 12 weeks.

They had greater BMI reduction and lost more weight than those who still ate their dinners.

Those who drank the protein shakes lost around 9.5 pounds over that period, whereas those who ate the dinners only lost 0.5 pounds [4].

Eating more protein doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight

Because any excess calories you are taking in the end up as stored fat.

It is thought that most Americans are already getting enough protein in their diets already [5].

It’s more about reducing the overall calories you eat than the amount of protein you eat.

So while protein might not be the weight-loss magic key, there are studies to show that protein does boost fat loss over other macronutrients.

One 2008 study found that obese people who drank protein meal replacements for two of their meals over a 12-week period lost similar amounts of weight to those who also had the shakes, but whose shakes were high-carbs [6].

 Protein shakes help you feel satisfied for longer

Weight loss is not always the necessary conclusion to being healthy.

Being healthy is much more complicated than the numbers you see on the scale. Because believe it, not all the weight loss methods out there on the market will keep people healthy.

That’s why you must know about nutrient density. It is more important than counting calories.

Even though they count calories, many people still find it a battle to lose weight, and there may be reasons for this [7].

Let’s start right at the beginning and look at what protein shakes are all about and why they are so good for helping you lose weight…

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes [8] are delicious beverages packed with protein and nutrition.

They are packaged in liquid form, so they are ideal for those who lead a busy lifestyle.

You also get protein powders, though, so know the difference. Protein powders can be mixed with any liquid to turn them into a shake.

It will depend on what your dietary preferences are for losing weight.

You can always make your protein shake

You could use healthy products like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or unsweetened nut butter. These are extremely nutrient-dense without the need to buy powders.

You get different types of protein powder if you want to make your shakes using the powders

You will discover many varieties of protein powders and shakes on the market.

You will discover animal-based protein powders or plant-based protein powders.

Then you will get some protein powders that have been designed for quick absorption into the system and some will provide a slower release of protein.

Plant-based protein powders contain protein-rich ingredients and plenty of essential amino acids.

The animal-based protein powders will offer all the essential amino acids. You will decide for yourself which are the healthier options for you [9].

Plant-based products are becoming the rage today and are often deemed as being healthier than animal-based products. You decide. 

Different Types of Protein Powder Types 

1) Whey:

Whey-based protein powder comes from milk. It contains BCAAs, which help in muscle building and maintenance.

2) Whey concentrate

Whey concentrate is really another form of whey protein powder. It has been processed so that it is higher in protein according to weight.

3) Whey isolate:

Whey isolate is a very highly concentrated whey protein powder. It is also more expensive than the other forms of whey protein powder.

4) Casein

Casein protein is derived from milk. It takes a bit longer to digest.

Casein protein provides plenty of amino acids.

Amino acids help to repair muscles and help them to grow. It’s popular to take at night, so it works through the night, repairing the muscle.

5) Soy

Soy is a plant-based protein powder and is also lactose-free, naturally. Soy protein powder will provide you with all the essential amino acids, including all the BCAAs.

6) Pea

Pea is another plant-based protein powder.

It has proven to be just as effective as a milk-based protein powder. It is very digestible too, and also hypoallergenic.

You also get other lesser-known protein powders from bone broth, hemp, beef, or mixed blends. Remember to read the labels to consider your dietary preferences.

How to Find The Best Protein Shakes To Lose Weight

1) Type of protein

The three main types of protein are; isolate, concentrate, and hydra.

Experts think the isolate is better for weight loss because it is often the lowest in fats and carbs.

2) Ingredients

Protein shakes can include casein, whey, soy, pea protein, or rice as their base.

Other ingredients could be added, such as vitamins, artificial sweeteners, prebiotics, and electrolytes.

3) Flavor

The best protein shake for losing weight for each person will probably be the one that tastes good.

4) Sugar content

If you want to lose weight, protein shakes with a low carb intake, which is less than 5 g a serving, will be the best. 

5) Calories

To lose weight, you will need a protein shake that is low in calories. And they are not all the same.

They can range in calories from around 90 calories to 215 calories a serving. 

6) Protein per serving

The protein powders that have the highest protein contents will be the ones that keep you fuller for longer.

They will keep your metabolism active – lookout for protein anywhere from 20 g of protein per serving, ideally.

The Benefits of Protein Shakes for Weight Loss

One benefit is that if you don’t buy ready-made shakes, making your own will be very quick and easy to assemble.

They do aid in your weight management goals in quite a few ways.

Let’s look at the benefits of protein shakes for your weight loss plans: 

1) Appetizing

They should be appetizing enough to give you a feeling of fullness so you don’t want something more to eat.

Fortunately, one thing about protein is that it is very satiating.

You will feel fuller for longer and won’t be starving for your next meal; search for snacks and greasy takeaways.

 2) Metabolism is boosted, and it boosts muscle building

Ask the bodybuilders about how protein helps them with muscle building and repair.

Protein also helps to preserve muscles from becoming flaccid when dieting.

If you eat more protein, you usually increase your metabolism.

Protein takes more energy to digest food than carbs, so you burn more calories for the food to be processed.

Even though you might not see a huge impact on calorie loss, it still helps the overall calorie expenditure.

3) Calories are reduced

We all know how filling protein can be. So because it makes you feel fuller, you might consume fewer calories.

If you are being weight conscious and focusing on counting calories, adding protein shakes to your diet as a meal replacement can impact your overall reduced calorie intake.

Over time, this translates into weight loss.

However, with protein shakes, you still have to show caution because you don’t want to go overboard with them.

How to Use Protein Shakes For Weight Loss 

If you want to lose weight, protein shakes should replace at least one of your meals daily – that’s what Mir B. Ali, a weight loss expert, says.

One review from 2021 shows that people lost more weight when 60% of their required calorie intake came from meal replacements and the other 40% from other foods. I

f you are using protein shakes or protein powders for weight loss, be careful in selecting a low-calorie one.

It should have no sugar linked to weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

 There is no doubt that there are benefits to drinking protein shakes for weight loss.

But you still have to think about a couple of other things before you decide to go on a protein shake diet.

What You Should Know Before Deciding on a Protein Shake

Check out these important things to think about:

1) Sustainability

If you make dietary changes to your lifestyle, whatever you add to your diet should be something you enjoy to make it sustainable.

So if you add protein shakes and replace them with a meal, remember that you could become bored with them over time. 

2) It should be a nutritious drink

 When making up your protein shake, you can decide to make it even better for yourself to suit your diet and ensure you are getting in all the nutrients.

Just relying on pre-made shakes or just using protein powder and liquid to make your shakes means you will more than likely lose out on the goodness of whole foods.

These contain minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants your body needs.

When you don’t consume whole foods and live mainly on shakes, you might start finding your diet and results unsatisfactory.

Maybe you won’t even feel filled. Look at the Protein Power Diet – maybe you can incorporate your shakes into this diet!

3) You Need Nutrient Balance

Some of the pre-made protein shakes can often contain additives in them, as well as extra sugar.

So you need to drink these shakes in moderation, particularly when trying to lose weight.

Because bottom line, they might not have all the necessary nutrients, fiber, or good fats.

And often, to get in more protein, you have more than you should. Then you won’t have the room to include other nutrients if you are calorie-counting. 

4) If you have certain health conditions, you need to watch out too 

Did you know that people with kidney problems shouldn’t have as much protein as others [10]?

How to use protein shakes for losing weight.

If you decide to use protein shakes for weight management, start by talking to your doctor or a registered dietician for their advice.

They will give insight as to what is best for your particular situation.

But here is a good tip to remember –

1) Timing

Protein timing is a good idea but it also depends on your goals.

You might, for instance, benefit from using protein shakes to get in the required amount of protein.

But if you didn’t get your required protein requirements, taking a shake will help.

Evidence does show that when you have plenty of protein at breakfast, you can reach your goals faster and find that you feel fuller during the day.

Then, when you eat some protein at every meal and space the meals throughout the day, you might get better results and meet your protein intake goals.

2) What’s in my protein shake?

If you want to lose weight, you need to be eating less and exercise more.

You must be eating fewer calories than you would burn during a day.

And if you want to use protein shakes to achieve this, you need to look at the other ingredients in your shake.

Lots of shakes have added sugar in them or fat, and then they are high in calories.

Then you might be downing more calories than what you should be having.

You could start to add your ingredients so that you end up with a nutrient-dense, low-calorie shake.

You should add healthy levels of fiber, fats, and carbs to the protein you already have.

Then you might find you can reduce your calories better.

Try and add some of these foods to your shake to benefit from increased fullness and nutrition:

  • Leafy greens
  • Oats
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Whole fruit
  • Almond milk
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Greed yogurt
  • Psyllium husk

 Just relying on shakes might mean you will miss out on important nutrients such as the ones above.

For instance, you can’t sit with your friend for supper and whip out a protein shake.

Meal enjoyment is a crucial part of a balanced lifestyle.

That means you must also consider what you eat during the day. Just as long as the food is nutrient-dense and you have a calorie deficit, you can lose weight.

Have You Got a Good Recipe to Get Started on Your Diet?

 Protein shakes are good for weight loss because they are satiating and may boost metabolism. Replace one meal with a low-calorie, no added sugar protein shake to lose weight.

A good idea is to make your protein shake with added fruits, nut butter, and a sugar-free protein powder.

 Want to make your protein shake? 

While you can buy a protein shake at most health food stores, the best one will be your nutrient-rich protein shake.

Here’s how:

  • Take a banana and place it into the blender.
  • Add a ⅛-teaspoon of cinnamon for flavor.
  • Then add ½-cup of plain full-fat Greek yogurt.
  • Add 1-cup of low-calorie, unsweetened almond milk or water.
  • Add one scoop of low-sugar protein powder (about 25 grams of protein).
  • Add as much ice as needed and blend all together in a blender until smooth. 

Conclusion

Weight loss isn’t the ultimate or optimal goal if you looking at being healthy as your number one priority.

But if you need to lose weight, then that’s where protein shakes can turn out to be very helpful.

Nevertheless, it is important that you eat macronutrients and incorporate nutrient-dense foods into your diet.

That way, you get fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

Protein shakes can be a useful tool to help you lose weight because they can keep you fuller for longer, increase your metabolism, and support lean muscle growth.   

A good way to lose weight is to replace one meal or snack with a protein shake.

It is better than just incorporating more protein into your diet, which will only increase your calorie intake and prevent weight loss. 

While protein shakes can kick-start weight loss, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat whole foods like lean meat, veggies, and fruit.

Protein shakes can be used as a tool for weight loss, but they are not the magic bullet.

Nothing beats a healthy diet, in the long term, for weight loss.

Thank goodness, though, that protein shakes can play such an important role in weight loss and health as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the best time to drink protein shakes for weight loss?

Protein shakes can be drunk any time of the day for weight loss. For losing weight, it is recommended you replace a shake for a meal. Or you can keep your shake until the time that you feel you need a nutritious snack.

What should I add to my protein shake for weight loss?

Just adding nutrient-rich foods to your shake such as fiber will go a long way in helping you lose weight. Foods that are a good idea are sweet potatoes, oatmeal grain, leafy greens, whole nuts, and seeds. And instead of full-cream milk, use skim milk or almond milk. 

Do you have a best-tasting protein powder for weight loss?

The best-tasting protein powder for weight loss will be entirely up to each person. But there have been tasting tests carried out – it was found that Sprout Living Epic Protein was not only very tasty but highly nutritious. Other good ones to try are Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder and also Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel Vanilla Coconut Whey Protein Powder. 

How do I incorporate a healthy meal into a protein shake diet?

If you are following a protein shake diet, adding healthy meals is wise. Always ensure you consume carbs, protein, and healthy fats at each of your meals. This helps with nutrient balance. Try and eat a wide variety of nutritious fruits and veggies in your meals, watching portion sizes if you want to lose weight.

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