- Guide to Using Whey Protein for Weight Loss
- 2. Quest Multi-Purpose Protein Powder
- 5. Orgain Grass-Fed Whey
- 6. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein
- 7. Naked Nutrition Egg White Protein
- 8. Navitas Organics Cacao & Greens Essential Blend
- 9. Vega Protein & Greens
- 10. Solgar Whey-To-Go Natural Vanilla
- What’s the best protein powder for weight loss? Here’s how to use whey protein to reduce belly fat fast
- What is whey protein and how does it aid weight loss?
- When and how to take whey protein for optimal weight loss
- Final tips
- Studies show how much you’ll lose
- 1. Choose a protein
- 2. Add satisfying fiber
- 3. Add good omega-3 fats
- Protein, carb and fat guide
- Whey Protein & Weight Loss Without Exercise
- Where Does Whey Protein Come From?
- How to Use Whey Protein Powder to Lose Weight
- Protein Shakes Decrease Hunger & Appetite
- Whey Protein Boosts Metabolism
- What to Look for in a Whey Product?
- Shop Performance Inspired Whey Today!
- Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss for 2020
- The 5 Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
- What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
- How are Meal Replacement Shakes Different from Protein Shakes?
- What to Look for When Purchasing Meal Replacement Shakes
- Things to Consider When Purchasing Meal Replacement Shakes
- Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
- How to Choose the Best Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss
- Our Favorite Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss
- Sure, you’ve done some research but you still can’t quite decide whether or not whey protein is for you…
- What is whey protein?
- Does whey protein make you fat?
- Whey protein’s other benefits
- No It Won’t Make You Fat: Reasons You Should Be Drinking Protein After a Workout
- From beginner to bodybuilder, everyone needs their protein.
- What is protein anyway?
- Why do we need protein after a workout?
- Does it matter if I did cardio or lifted weights?
- But doesn’t protein make you gain weight? Will I get fat?
- How Whey Protein May Affect Weight
- How Whey Protein Can Help You Lose Fat
- What is Whey Protein?
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate
- How is Whey Protein Unique?
- How Can Whey Protein Help You Lose Body Fat?
- Whey Protein Is Rich in Leucine
- Whey Satiates Your Appetite
- Scientific Research on Whey
- Lose Fat, Keep Your Gains
- Whey Protein Versus Casein
- Wrapping Up
- How does whey protein encourage weight loss?
- Top 6 Whey Protein Powders for Weight Loss
- A Weight Loss Tool
Guide to Using Whey Protein for Weight Loss
Regular gym-goers are sure to have noticed muscly guys tossing back a protein shake straight after their workout and it’s true that many bodybuilders use whey protein to assist with building muscle. But don’t be fooled by this stereotype, whey protein can also be a useful aid in weight-loss for both men and women.
Whey protein is basically a convenient alternative to whole foods that can be used to supplement the diet. It is produced as a by-product during the cheese making process. Milk is separated into solids and liquids – the leftover liquid is the whey. This is then processed to form a powder and the resulting whey protein is considered a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids and with a low lactose content.
When used as a supplement, whey protein can help to improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass. There is also some evidence to show that drinking whey protein can help women retain muscle mass and lose fat while trying to shed weight.
But before you stock up and start drinking protein shakes on top of your regular diet, you need learn how it can be used in a weight loss program. The suggestions below are options for times of day that we have found helpful when trying to lose weight. You would not use whey protein at all of these times.
Our suggestions for how and when to use whey protein for weight-loss:
- As a meal replacement – add into a smoothie
- As a snack replacement – mix with just water or water with a dash of milk
- Before going out to eat – mix with water (to help with satiety and prevent overindulging)
- After a workout – mix with water
Many people are in a rush at breakfast and then struggle all day when they miss this important meal. A great option is to whip up a breakfast smoothie you can consume on the go. Create a blend using liquid, protein powder, some fats like avocado and fruit and/or vegetables so it is both nutritious and filling. This makes for a convenient, nutrient-dense way to fuel up.
Keep in mind your overall macronutrient goals (protein/fats/carbohydrates) when creating your own mix. Below are a couple of suggestions but if you have the basic idea you can get creative!
Nutrient-dense breakfast smoothie – In a blender mix 1 cup milk, 1 scoop of vanilla flavoured whey protein, a handful of baby spinach leaves, 1/3 cup of frozen raspberries, a handful of ice.
Quick breakfast smoothie – In a protein shaker mix 1 cup water, dash of milk, 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured whey protein, ½ teaspoon peanut butter, 1 scoop of instant oats (or leave out if following a low-carb plan).
Whey protein, and indeed any protein, can help you feel full for longer than other food types, so you’re less likely to snack. For many, the afternoon is a difficult time to avoid snacking on high-sugar processed snacks and this is when a protein shake can be very convenient.
Likewise, if you were going to have a can of tuna for afternoon tea but couldn’t face it, then the right flavoured protein shake can be a sensible alternative instead of reaching for biscuits or chocolate.
To Prevent Overindulging
If you are going out and are likely to overindulge in all the wrong sorts of foods, then having a protein shake before you go can help fill you up, before you’re tempted to make a whole lot of unwise food and drink choices.
Whey Protein & Exercise
Exercise is an important part of being healthy and just changing to protein shakes alone isn’t likely to help you lose weight and maintain it. Therefore, we recommend combining resistance training with whey protein for anyone looking to lose weight.
Men can have one or two 30g scoops per shake. Women on a weight loss plan should stick to one 30g scoop of whey protein. The beauty of a protein shake is for most people, it is easier to get down after a hard workout than eating the same amount of protein in a whole food.
Frequency & Diet
It isn’t a good idea to replace all your meals with whey protein in an effort to lose weight. Instead, you should be thinking of whey protein as a convenient form of protein that can be used to supplement your whole food diet. It is important to continue eating whole foods, even when your goal is weight-loss, to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre in your diet. It’s also important to create healthy eating habits you can maintain once you reach your goal.
As such, during a weight loss program we recommend using supplements only once per day. Occasionally twice per day is ok. Once you have reached your weight goal, you may simply consume whey protein after a workout to help with recovery and maintaining muscle.
Which protein powder should I choose?
Make sure you choose a whey protein that isn’t filled with nasty and unnecessary fillers or chemicals that your body doesn’t need. Also check it doesn’t 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 Protein’s Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) contains 80% protein content per serve, with small amounts of fat and carbohydrates. The other alternative is Premium Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), 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 Beginner’s Guide to Whey Protein.
When embarking on any weight loss plan, please consult your doctor or nutritionist for the best advice directly related to your circumstances.
If you think protein powder is something only CrossFit addicts and people who grunt at the gym use to make #gains, you’re seriously missing out on a potent ingredient that could help you lose weight.
“Protein plays a big role in weight loss because it keeps us full and satisfied so that we make it to our next meal without snacking in between,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, RD. It can also help you increase and maintain muscle mass—something necessary to burn fat, even when you’re not working out, says Zeitlin.
And here’s the thing: Even if you think you’re eating enough protein already, it can’t hurt to supplement with a bit more. “Adding some protein powder to a meal or snack that may otherwise be lacking in protein is a great way to balance your meals,” says Alyssa Lavy, RD, of Alyssa Lavy Nutrition & Wellness, LLC.
There’s just one small problem: With so many protein powders out there, it can be hard to choose the healthiest option. Zeitlin’s main suggestion? Focus on the unsweetened kinds. “They won’t add in sneaky sugars that could actually be sabotaging you.” Keeping that in mind, these are the best protein powders for weight loss:
1. RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen Protein Powders
Amazon amazon.com $29.97
“People tend to forget that fat is very satiating, so adding a fat-based product like AvoCollagen can the satiety one needs to prevent overeating later,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, RD, founder of Essence Nutrition. Plus the oleic acids in the avocado oil help fight inflammation and the collagen peptides go easy on the gut, and repair damaged tissue and muscles post-workout, she says.
Per serving: 90 calories, 4 g fat, (1 g sat fat), 4 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein
2. Quest Multi-Purpose Protein Powder
Amazon amazon.com $27.80
Adding powder to smoothies is nice and all, but this powder can be baked into peanut butter bars, tossed into tomato sauce, and mixed right into oatmeal.
Plus, “one scoop has only 100 calories and no sugar since it’s simply pure protein which makes it a perfect addition to any recipe to increase its nutrient density,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD.
Per serving: 100 calories, 0.5 g fat, (0 g sat fat), <1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 23 g protein
3. RSP Nutrition TrueFit Protein Powder
Amazon amazon.com $31.48
Thanks to the “whopping 25 grams of protein per serving,” Moreno says you’ll squash any chance of an afternoon snacking marathon since protein balances blood sugar levels—and low blood sugar contributes to hunger. “You’ll sail until dinner” with a scoop of this stuff, she says. And if chocolate isn’t your jam, opt for one of the other four available flavors all packed with eight grams of prebiotic fiber (the stuff that nourishes the organisms in your gut) from sweet potatoes and five net carbs.
Per serving: 160 calories, 3 g fat, (2 g sat fat), 13 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 160 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 25 g protein
4. Isopure Whey Protein Isolate Powder
Amazon amazon.com $37.36
Instead of adding a spoonful of honey or cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal, Leah Kaufman, RD, suggests sprinkling a serving of this powder on top instead since it’s sweetened with monk fruit, rounding out it’s sugar count to only three grams. It packs a huge punch of protein (25 grams, to be exact), in addition to satisfying even the pickiest sweet-tooth.
Per serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat, (0 g sat fat), 4 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 240 mg sodium, 25 g protein
5. Orgain Grass-Fed Whey
Simple, tasty protein powders are often hard to come by, but “Orgain is a superior option,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO of The NY Nutrition Group, a private New York City-based nutrition practice. Snag this one when you want a good protein powder with zero artificial ingredients or sweeteners.
Per serving: 150 calories, 3.5 g fat, (1.5 g sat fat), 14 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 140 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 21 g protein
6. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein
“Ascent uses only natural ingredients, and it has 25 grams of protein for only 110 to 130 calories, depending on the flavor,” says Tara Collingwood, RD, team dietitian for the Orlando Magic. “It’s also an excellent source of all essential amino acids.”
Per serving: 110 calories, 1 g fat, (0 g sat fat), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 25 g protein
7. Naked Nutrition Egg White Protein
amazon.com $99.99 $64.99 (35% off)
“Naked Nutrition uses clean ingredients and non-GMO eggs, and the only other ingredient is sunflower lecithin,” says Collingwood. “It doesn’t have any added sweeteners or colors, and it packs 25 grams of protein for 110 calories.”
Per serving: 110 calories, 0 g fat, (0 g sat fat), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 380 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 25 g protein
“This is a great vegan blend that consists of pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, flax, and hemp,” says Lauren Antonucci, RD. She also adds that it has added greens for fiber, as well as probiotics for gut health, which solidifies its place on the list of best protein powders for weight loss.
Per serving: 100 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g sat), 200 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein
9. Vega Protein & Greens
“I like Vega because it includes many nutrients that I’m interested in,” such as pea protein, brown rice protein, and organic kale powder, says Sharon Palmer, RD. It’s a tasty vegan option, as well.
Per serving: 120 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g sat), 270 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 20 g protein
10. Solgar Whey-To-Go Natural Vanilla
This protein powder is whey-based, but it’s actually 98 percent lactose-free, which means it’s easily tolerated by those with lactose intolerance (unlike many other whey protein options), says Alyssa Lavy, RD. It’s also got just one gram of sugar, but still has a sweet flavor, she adds.
Per serving: 90 calories, 0.5 g fat, 55 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, <1 g sugar, 20 g protein
Ashley Mateo Ashley Mateo is a writer, editor, and UESCA-certified running coach who has contributed to Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape, Self, and more. Aryelle Siclait Assistant Editor Aryelle Siclait is an assistant editor at Women’s Health where she writes about relationship trends, sexual health, pop-culture news, food, and physical health for verticals across WomensHealthMag.com and the print magazine.
What’s the best protein powder for weight loss? Here’s how to use whey protein to reduce belly fat fast
Whey protein is the best weight loss diet for reducing belly fat and building muscle  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: A lot has been said about whether or not you can take protein powders and lose weight without exercise. Numerous studies have shown that some forms of protein, such as whey, are better than others and can help you achieve a variety of particular fitness goals. Whey protein can be an excellent addition to your weight loss diet if you’re trying to gain muscle, increase strength and lose significant amounts of body fat, including excess belly fat.
While there’s no magical single food that will make abdominal fat disappear overnight, having whey protein as part of a calorie-controlled diet might help you lose weight and get the job done. The fact of the matter is that losing body fat requires you to consume fewer calories than you burn. Probably the most popular today, whey protein is considered one of the best supplements for those who want to lose weight, build muscles and maintain health. Read – Weight loss: 5 best protein powders that will help you lose weight and flatten your tummy
What is whey protein and how does it aid weight loss?
Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, which is the watery or liquid part of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. Two main type of protein can be found in milk – casein (80%) and whey (20%). After being separated from curds, whey goes through many processing steps to turned into a versatile powder form, which is usually added to shakes and protein bars. Whey protein is perfect as a meal replacement supplement for those trying to shed extra pounds.
Numerous studies suggest that whey protein can effectively help people manage weight as promotes satiety. A 2008 study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, found that overweight and obese adults who supplemented with whey protein lost significantly more body fat and retained more muscle mass than those who consumed no whey.
Additionally, one study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2011 suggested that whey might offer advantages over certain protein powders for reducing body fat. The researchers found that participants who drank whey ended up with smaller waists than those who were given a soy protein beverage or a carbohydrate-rich drink. Read – Natural weight loss drink: Here’s a simple 5-day detox diet plan using lemon and mint tea to lose belly fat
Whey is loaded with essential amino acids, including leucine and cysteine, which are of high-quality proteins. Hence, supplementing with whey protein may be a great idea when trying to slim down and build muscle. Moreover, protein has been shown to aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing appetite.
When and how to take whey protein for optimal weight loss
Whey protein can be easily digested and absorbed efficiently by the body. It is usually taken after exercise for muscle building and recovery. The commonly recommended dosage is 1-2 scoops (around 25-50 grams) per day.
Generally, whey protein can be consumed by most people without problems, however, individuals who are allergic to why or with kidney or liver issues may want to avoid it.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
If you’re looking to steadily lose weight the healthy way, then try this Two-Shakes-A-Day Diet Plan! Unlike fad diets, you won’t starve. You won’t sabotage hard-earned muscle. You won’t spend a fortune on prepared meals or diet systems. And you’ll get healthier in the process.
Here’s how it works…
- Drink two high protein, low carb shakes a day
- Add a scoop of fiber like psyllium
- Add a tablespoon of fish or flaxseed oil for their omega-3 content
- Boost your shake with veggies or fruit
- Have 2-3 other meals (snacks) a day
- Reduce your calorie intake to about 500 less per day than your break-even calorie level
You’ll lose about one pound of fat a week. It’s a very livable plan that’s backed up by clinical research. Adjust your carb intake to lose weight faster or slower. Be sure to exercise at least three times a week and then enjoy steady weight loss without radical changes in your diet.
After you review the research below that supports the Two-Shakes-A-Day Diet Plan, read the rest of this article for more weight loss tips.
Studies show how much you’ll lose
Compelling research shows that drinking 1-2 shakes a day can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Drink two whey shakes a day and lose 5 pounds of fat
A clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition tracked the body weight of 90 overweight men and women during 23 weeks of drinking two shakes a day. No other instructions on what to eat were given. They drank either whey protein (28g of protein each), soy protein (28g of protein each) or carb shakes. Each shake contained about 200 calories.
They drank them around breakfast and dinner. The whey group lost 4 pounds of body weight and 5 pounds of fat mass, as well as reduced their waist circumference and fasting hunger hormone (ghrelin) levels. The soy group lost 2 pounds of body weight and 2.4 pounds of body fat. The carbohydrate control group showed minimal changes.
Drink two MRPs a day and lose 6 pounds of fat
In a study of 38 overweight and sedentary male and female adults published in Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers looked at the effects of a meal replacement powder (MRP) totaling 300 calories per serving (40g protein from whey, casein and milk protein isolate, 25g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and vitamins and minerals).
Subjects drank this MRP once daily for 2 weeks, then twice daily for 8 more weeks. They also exercised 3 times per week and were compared to an exercise-only group and a control group who did not participate in an exercise plan.
After 10 weeks, the MRP-exercise group experienced an average of 6 pounds of fat loss and a 2-pound increase in lean body mass. The exercise-only group lost 2.4 pounds of fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean body mass. The control group experienced minimal changes.
Of the three groups, only the MRP-exercise group experienced a 12% reduction in cholesterol and 13.3% reduction in LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Also, the time to exhaustion during a standardized treadmill test improved by 21.2% in the MRP-exercise group compared to a 9.8% increase in the exercise-only group and a 1.4% in the control group.
For reference, during the last 8 weeks of the study, each day the MRP-exercise group consumed 131g of protein, 190g of carbohydrates, 63g of fat and an average of 1,854 calories.
25-pound weight loss difference over 5 years with one MRP a day
In one study conducted over a 5-year period, overweight subjects who consumed a meal replacement shake lost about 10 pounds compared to others who gained 15 over the same time period, resulting in a 25-pound difference in weight between them. The value of a meal replacement may be the structure of having a prepared meal, which can reduce the temptation to eat the wrong foods.
1. Choose a protein
The foundation of your shake will be a high-quality protein powder mixed into water, not juice. Add about 20-30 grams of protein per shake – the older you are, the more you may need to maintain muscle. A study of adults, average age of 70, showed when they took 40g of whey protein versus 20g, they boosted their muscle protein synthesis by 32%.
Which should you choose? Whey protein may have the best diet research results, with slower digesting milk proteins next, then soy or plant proteins.
Whey provides good satiety, digests easily and is one of the best muscle-building proteins. It makes a good base shake ingredient and contains about 140 calories and 25g of protein per serving.
Milk or protein blends
The protein in milk (casein) is slow digesting and can help you feel full longer. Many protein blends combine whey and milk proteins so you get the benefits of both.
Meal replacement powders (MRP) are larger serving sizes of a protein powder that provide 250-300 calories. They contain a blend of whey and milk proteins and have added carbs, fiber and vitamins. Many people use a half serving, which provides about 20g of protein and 10g of carbs.
Egg, soy or plant proteins
These sources are good for those who like to avoid dairy or have specific milk allergies.
2. Add satisfying fiber
Add fiber to your shake to keep hunger away and to control blood sugar spikes. These fibers absorb water and expand in your stomach to create a sense of fullness.
Fiber also slows the normal increase in blood sugar in response to a meal, even when drinking just protein. It also helps replace the fiber you’ll be lacking as you cut back on carbohydrate-based foods that normally provide most of your fiber. Try to get 25g of fiber a day.
Psyllium husk fiber is primarily a soluble fiber that absorbs about 50 times its weight in water. This helps create a bulkier, softer stool and minimizes constipation that is common during carbohydrate restriction. Add 1-3 teaspoons.
A study over an 8-week period showed those who took 2 capsules of this plant fiber before breakfast, lunch and dinner lost 5.5 pounds while the placebo group gained weight. Take it before a meal or add it to your shake by pulling apart two capsules and pouring in the fiber powder. It swells quickly so don’t save it to drink later.
Just 1 tablespoon of these gluten-free seeds provide about 5g of fiber, 3g of protein and 2.5g of omega-3s. Stir in with just a spoon. No need to grind them. They swell up slower than other fibers, so you don’t need to drink it within a few minutes.
3. Add good omega-3 fats
Fats help slow down the digestive process, making you feel full longer. Since protein powders are low in fat, you’ll want to add some healthy omega-3 fats like flax oil, fish oil or chia seeds. This will give your shake more “staying power”. These good fats have been shown to reduce insulin resistance, which improves fat burning in muscles and inhibits fat storage.
In one study, overweight subjects took 6g of fish oil (1.9g of omega-3s) or a sunflower oil placebo for 12 weeks along with exercise. The investigators noted the fish oil group had the greatest decrease in body fat (almost 4 pounds).
Flax seed oil
Add one tablespoon to your shake, which provides about 7.6g of omega-3s (ALA) and 120 calories. It has a mild flavor that won’t ruin the taste.
Add a teaspoon to your shake, which provides about 1.5g of omega-3s (EPA and DHA) and 40 calories. Or if you prefer, take 1-3 softgels. Fish and krill oil are the preferred source for omega-3s. A reasonable dose is 1-3g of fish oil a day.
Protein, carb and fat guide
Protein – eat 75 to 175 grams of protein per day
Most people should eat between 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. Eating protein helps prevent the breakdown of muscle so your weight loss is fat, not muscle. In one study where dieters doubled their protein intake, they experienced a reduced appetite and consumed fewer calories, which ultimately led to significant weight loss.
Carbohydrates – reduce intake, avoid sugar
Burning fat on this diet plan is generally controlled by reducing your carb intake as your protein and fat intake stay relatively constant. Eat a range of 50-200g of carbs depending on your caloric breakeven point. The breakeven point on average for women is about 2,000 calories and for men about 2,800 calories.
Eat plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, but avoid grains, pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, junk food, high-glycemic sugary carbs and all forms of sugar. Add berries or fruit to your shake, but do so sparingly as they have natural sugars. Avoid high glycemic index fruit.
Fats – consume 40 to 90 grams of healthy fats per day
Increase omega-3 fat intake levels. For salads, use olive oil and/or flax oil. Cook with coconut oil and even add it to your shake. Eat avocado for more good fats. Reduce omega-6 fat intake (such as safflower, sunflower and corn oil). Avoid unhealthy fats from foods like french fries, fried food, margarine and all hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
Avoid eating 2 hours before workouts and 1 hour after to maximize fat burning. Eating right after a workout slows down fat-burning.
Take a multi-vitamin to make up for the lack of micronutrients typical of a low-calorie diet.
Consider additional supplements like green tea, CLA, garcinia cambogia or other diet support formulas to speed up the fat burning process.
Be sure to choose a high-quality protein as the core of your shake! Here is a list of some we love.
Copyright 2019, Nutrition Express.
Whey Protein & Weight Loss Without Exercise
There’s a lot of chatter around the web about whether or not you can take whey protein and lose weight without actually exercising. The fact of the matter is that whey is a powerful supplement that can be used differently to achieve a variety of particular fitness goals. If you’re looking to gain weight, add muscle, or even lose weight, whey powder can help to get the job done. Whether you are just starting your weight loss journey or have been working towards your fitness goals for some time, incorporating protein powder as additional support is a smart option.
Below we cover the basics about whey protein and why it is a good option for those looking to lose weight.
Where Does Whey Protein Come From?
Image credit: Alexander Chaikin/
Whey protein is obtained through a process that extracts the protein from the byproducts of cheese and milk, which is then turned into a versatile powder form. It is one of the top nutritional supplements on the market; a favorite for its ability to provide excellent protein without unnecessary calories or fat. As a highly efficient protein, whey is perfect for people looking to shed extra weight by using it as a meal replacement supplement.
How to Use Whey Protein Powder to Lose Weight
Image credit: Poznyakov/
Yes… If you use whey powder, such as in the form of a smoothie, in place of calories you would normally intake from a standard meal, you can lose weight without exercise. However, this is not the recommended way to use whey for weight loss and for a number of good reasons. Namely, exercise helps you to lose weight! But exercise also increases energy levels, leading to improved efficiency of blood oxygenation, delivery of nutrients to your body’s tissues, revving up your cardiovascular system, and boosting overall blood circulation.
Regularly exercising breaks down your muscles as part of the strength-building process and the protein acts as a repair crew of sorts; allowing your body to perform to its best abilities – bolstering your ability to lose weight. Exercising two to three hours a week is also a great disease prevention method; helping to keep high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis at bay.
If you’re wondering how to use whey protein for weight loss specifically, one of its big benefits is the ability to satisfy your appetite. Whey protein can be used to make a healthy, filling snack such as a fruit smoothie and protein shakes. Rich chocolate protein can satisfy a stubborn sweet tooth craving without throwing off your progress. When you are considering your whey protein dosage for weight loss, you should take your fitness level and calorie needs into account.
Protein Shakes Decrease Hunger & Appetite
Image credit: Eskymaks/
As many who’ve tried to diet in the past can attest to, fighting off hunger and food cravings is the worst part. Fortunately, when using whey powder for losing weight you experience decreased hunger and appetite. Here’s an excerpt from Healthline’s How Protein Shakes Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat article:
Protein can decrease hunger and appetite in two main ways.
Second, protein helps you feel full for longer (10, 11).
In one study, a high-protein breakfast helped participants consume up to 135 fewer calories later in the day (12).
In another, overweight men who had been on a weight loss diet increased their protein intake to 25% of total calories. This increase cut cravings by 60% and late-night snacking by half (13).
Increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of total calories helped participants in another study consume 441 fewer calories per day without actively trying to limit their portions (14).
What’s more, by the end of the 12-week study period, they had lost an average of 11 lbs (5 kg) (14).
Whey Protein Boosts Metabolism
Image credit: TierneyMJ/
In a 2011 study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health that assesses whey, casien, and soy meals for their thermogenesis and metabolism properties, researchers discovered whey had the highest effect. Followed by casien and soy meals.
The results suggest that taking whey protein as a supplement helps to boost metabolism, which is your body’s way of taking the foods and drinks it consumes and converting it into energy. The higher your metabolism, the more energy your body requires, and the more calories you end up expending.
What to Look for in a Whey Product?
When you are shopping for a whey protein, it is critical to find one that does not contain added sugars, fillers, and artificial ingredients. These types of unnecessary fillers can actually detract from your weight loss goals, and are not part of a truly healthy lifestyle. The best whey protein will have an honest list of recognizable, trusted ingredients, with protein that has a high level of purity.
Please note that not all protein is not created equal. If you have ever browsed protein powders or bars, you have probably realized that there is a seemingly endless list of sources: whey, pea, soy, casein, and more. However, there is one type of protein that stands out as the ideal option for weight loss, as well as other health and fitness goals: whey.
Shop Performance Inspired Whey Today!
For a high-quality, delicious selection of whey powders and protein products, Performance Inspired Nutrition should be your first choice. Every one of our products meets our high standards and we refuse to provide our customers with anything less than the best. Browse our selection today and get a powerful boost towards your weight loss goals.
Image credit: Kinga/
- Paul Guyot says:
If I’m solely focused on weight loss at the moment, which whey protein is the best for me – Performance Whey or Ripped Whey?
And should I take it along with the diet/energy pills?
- Amy Carcaise says:
The ripped whey will help you lose weight, I would recommend taking the diet and energy pills with the ripped whey.
- Amy Carcaise says:
- Vijaya Bhaskar Boddapati says:
I am 63 and very lean. I am a bit confused about the advantages of using whey protein. I am taking the protein drink twice a day however, without any workouts. Will the drink so taken increase my weight and muscle? Are there any hazards in doing so. Please clarify.
- Amy Carcaise says:
Vijaya, Whey Protein is great choice for everyone, whether working out or not. Protein is essential for lean muscle mass, which powers up your metabolism and helps burn fat. It also makes for a great meal replacement or in between meals to help you control your appetite, keep you feeling fuller for longer, helps you avoid mindless snacking and provides an energy boost. Just keep in mind, as with any protein that you consume, the caloric and nutritional contents should be counted as part of your overall daily consumption.
You can also check out this other article on whey protein:
- Amy Carcaise says:
- beckys070112 says:
For weight loss would you recommend performance whey or ripped whey…
- Amy Carcaise says:
Ripped Whey with our Diet and energy pill.
- Amy Carcaise says:
- Ashish says:
I am 37 year old single Male. My weight is 84 kg, and I am 5 feet 8 inches tall. I have a fat belly and a fluffy face. I am a thyroid patient on a regular dosage of 150 mg per day thyroxine.i do moderate cardio 4 times a week. And presently vegetarian diet. My weight doesn’t reduce and my belly keep bloated. Please suggest a remedy.
- Amy Carcaise says:
You could try talking our Apple Cider Vinegar pill. Also we do have a plant based protein you might be interested in checking out.
Stay Inspired- Team PI
- Amy Carcaise says:
- Kristi Smith says:
Does the Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein integrated Supplements have any caffeine. I can’t consume caffeine and I am concerned. I don’t see where it does, I just want to make sure.
- Amy Carcaise says:
Kristi, we do not put any caffeine in our Isolate Whey chocolate. However, It does have cocoa processed with alkali. Lower caffeine levels can be found in unsweetened cocoa powder processed with alkali, a product that contains 4 milligrams of caffeine per tablespoon. Therefore, If you can not have caffeine, I suggest taking the vanilla Isolate Whey. Thank you for the question! – Stay Inspired!
- Amy Carcaise says:
- Diet Bar says:
very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it
Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss for 2020
Last Updated on November 26, 2019
There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
It’s hard to stay consistent with eating well-balanced meals, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Meal preparation is a great habit, but it also takes up a lot of time. And sometimes you just don’t have time for a lengthy daily workout.
That’s why you might consider supplementing your diet with a meal replacement shake that can help with your weight loss efforts.
When used occasionally, meal replacement shakes can help you drop the pounds faster and safer because they are specially formulated to meet your nutrient needs while cutting back on calories.
In this article, we’ve reviewed the five best meal replacement shakes, their pros and cons, how to choose the best one for your needs, and our top five recommendations. We will then dive deep into our meal replacement reviews so you can pick one that is right for you.
Let’s get to it…
Don’t have time to read the entire review?
If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to read this entire review, we’ve simplified everything.
Here is a table that provides you with a quick rating of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss.
The 5 Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
1. Best Overall Choice for Weight Loss Meal Replacement Shake
This real-food meal replacement shake for weight is the best overall option!
The superfood blend contains only ingredients from real food, and it provides you with 16 essential vitamins and minerals.
Each serving of this meal replacement powder will give you 25 grams of whey protein, 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids, 3 grams of Healthy Fats, and 4 grams of glutamine and glutamic acid, which makes it a complete meal. It also includes probiotics, enzymes, and fiber from sweet potato powder to ensure healthy digestion.
TrueFit meal replacement shakes are ideal for men and women who are on the go. It is a clean source of energy that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. Because it is high in protein and filling, this meal replacement shake will help you meet your weight loss goals.
- Low-glycemic carb
- Free from added sugars, artificial ingredients, and maltodextrin
- Tastes great
- Dissolves easily
- Some people find this powder upsets their stomachs
- Some users are disappointed by the size of the container vs. the amount of product
2. Best Meal Replacement Shake for Keto and Low Carb Diets
If you are on a keto diet or trying to limit your carbs, this might be the right option for you. It is made with high-quality ingredients to offer 24 grams of grass-fed protein. It has no artificial ingredients and is tested by a third-party, independent lab for purity, quality, and potency.
This meal replacement shake uses a time-released protein powder blend that is made up of four different proteins to keep you full for hours. The proteins include whey protein isolate and concentrate, milk protein concentrate, and micellar casein. This is great for weight loss because it will reduce your urge to snack during the day.
The proprietary ProHydrolase® enzyme blend in this meal replacement shake doubles the protein absorption of the powder compared to its competitors and eliminates the gas and bloating that is often associated with whey supplements.
- Certified hormone (rBGH/rBST) free
- GMP certified
- For every order placed, the company donates a nutritious meal to a hungry child
- Higher in price than other options
- Relatively low in fiber
- Some people find it to be too sweet
3. Most Popular Meal Replacement Shake
This classic meal replacement shake choice has stood the test of time with consumers. It is certainly one of the best-tasting meal replacement shakes for weight loss. It is part of the SlimFast plan, which offers flexibility and simplicity to your weight loss. This meal replacement shake tastes great and will keep you full for up to four hours. With just 200 calories in each eight-ounce serving, it is an ideal way to give your body energy while you’re trying to lose weight.
SlimFast meal replacement powder has 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 24 essential vitamins and minerals to assist your body in burning fat and aiding you in your weight loss efforts. However, you won’t feel like you’re drinking something that will lead to weight loss results because its award-winning taste is nothing less than indulgent.
- Has received the Chef’s Best Taste Award
- Low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals
- Some users have found variability in taste from batch to batch
- Can be grainy if not properly mixed
- Higher in sugar than other products
4. Best Meal Replacement Shake for Coffee Lovers
If you are a coffee lover, this is the meal replacement shake for you. You can drink it hot or cold to curb your appetite throughout the day, help you burn fat, and keep you energized. It is a great low-calorie breakfast meal replacement or midday pick-me-up.
This product comes in several coffee-house flavors, including vanilla latte, mocha, and caramel. It also has 150 mg of caffeine per serving from a real double-shot of espresso coffee (not artificial flavoring or factory-made stimulants). The slow-releasing proteins will keep you satisfied for hours while providing you with the energy that you need to get you through your workday.
This product will help you boost your metabolism to aid in achieving your weight loss goals by providing a great-tasting coffee that you already love. It is one of the best meal replacement shakes for men and women to be able to grab in the morning on the way to work.
- All-in-one drink mix of coffee and protein
- Has 23 essential vitamins
- Contains real gourmet espresso coffee
- Some find the taste to be strong
- Difficult to dissolve completely
- Some users find that they are hungry sooner with this product than with others
5. Best Vegan-Friendly Meal Replacement Shake
If you follow a vegan diet, this might be the right meal replacement shake for you. It is ideal for a healthy, on-the-go meal for men, women, and children with its 21 grams of organic, plant-based protein. It contains a blend of pea, chia, and brown rice proteins, along with five grams of fiber and three net carbs. This meal replacement shake contains no sugar and is only 150 calories per serving.
This USDA organic product is free from GMOs, gluten, dairy, and artificial ingredients. It is a great option if you want to replace a light meal but can also be used as a pre- or post-workout shake.
- Contains a complete amino acid profile
- Doesn’t keep you full for as long as other products
- Some find it to be too sweet
- May be harsh on the stomach
What are Meal Replacement Shakes?
Meal replacement shakes are healthy food products that are prepared in a can, bottle, or in powdered form that can be mixed with milk or water to give your body the same nutrition that a small meal would. People often use meal replacement shakes for weight loss purposes, or to gain weight in a healthy way. This is done by either decreasing or increasing one’s caloric intake.
For weight loss, you can replace up to two meals per day with a meal replacement shake to give your body the nutrition it needs while limiting the number of calories you consume. Because meal replacement shakes help maintain your blood sugar level and contain protein and fiber, you will not feel the need to snack between meals after you drink one. This will help prevent you from overeating and keep your waistline in check.
In fact, one study showed that people who replaced one to two meals each day with a meal replacement shake for three months lost almost six pounds more than people who simply altered their diet to be generally low in calories.
Further, the study noted that at the one-year mark for the participants, significantly fewer people who were drinking the meal replacement shakes had dropped out of the study compared to those on a low-calorie diet. This suggests that this method of healthy eating is more sustainable than cutting calories.
If you are trying to gain weight, you can add a meal replacement shake into your daily diet routine as a snack. Doing this is a healthy way to gain weight because you are giving your body nutrients that it can use through a method that is calorie-dense.
Do meal replacement shakes really work?
Meal replacement shakes are healthy food products that can be mixed with milk or water to give your body the same nutrition that a small meal would.
If you were to eat the same number of calories in a snack each day, it would technically be possible to find healthy options—but if you were also aiming for convenience, you would likely end up eating a snack with trans fats and artificial ingredients in it.
Meal replacement shakes can also be consumed to give you a quick and easy concentrated dose of vital micronutrients, or to save you time during your busy day. This is great for people who are on the go and often find themselves grabbing junk food instead of eating whole foods.
In order to eat a more balanced diet, packing a meal replacement shake to drink during the day is a much better option than relying on vending machines.
Generally, meal replacement shakes contain between 200 and 400 calories per serving. They also have a variety of nutrients, such as fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are low in calories and carbohydrates, but high in protein, which creates the ideal midday nourishment option for your body.
The protein and fiber will help keep you full during the day because eating protein can slow down the process of the emptying of the stomach, and reduce levels of ghrelin in your body, which is a hormone that is responsible for stimulating hunger.
Meanwhile, the fiber moves slowly through the digestive tract to encourage satiety and has even been associated with a lower risk of weight gain.
How are Meal Replacement Shakes Different from Protein Shakes?
The main difference between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes are the ingredients. Typically, a protein shake consists of mostly whey protein, without including the vitamins and minerals that are needed to make a well-rounded meal. This is due to the fact that protein shakes are designed to be taken as a supplement to a balanced meal, not a replacement.
Protein powder also doesn’t include enough carbohydrates or fiber to maintain your energy in the way that a meal can. They typically just have a high protein content (about 25 grams per serving), while meal replacement powders can have varying levels of protein content, ranging from 10 grams to 40 grams per serving.
What to Look for When Purchasing Meal Replacement Shakes
The first thing to do when looking for the best meal replacement shakes is to read the nutritional label. You want to see if there is a good balance between the number of carbs it contains as well as fats and proteins. It should also come in convenient packaging.
The following amounts are what you typically want to see on the label of a potential meal replacement shake for weight loss:
Vitamins and Minerals
At least 18
Less than 400 per serving
Things to Consider When Purchasing Meal Replacement Shakes
What you want to avoid is a meal replacement shake that is more than 400 calories per serving. Avoid shakes lacking fiber, shakes with artificial flavors and shakes with added sugars.
All the ingredients should be 100% natural and not artificial or chalky at all.
You can also supplement your shake with other ingredients to add even more flavor and other health benefits. For example, adding in some spinach is a good way to help your body absorb all the nutrients, plus spinach is packed full of Vitamin C.
Greek yogurt is another delicious addition and can add some creaminess to the shake in addition to beneficial amounts of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and Vitamins B6 and B12. If you add in some cinnamon, it can help with inflammation and adds even more flavor you will love. (Side note: If you’re looking for the best-tasting protein powders, then check out the review we did here.)
Protein shakes do usually have amino acids in them to help build your muscles and possibly support weight loss. And when it comes to calories, protein shakes have fewer calories than meal replacement shakes. Protein shakes average about 100-120 calories each, compared to the 200-400 calories in meal replacement shakes.
Having a protein shake allows your body to have amino acids, which can help repair your muscles after a workout. However, meal replacement shakes have a higher fiber content because of the added vitamins and minerals that help create a balanced meal.
In order to know which type of shake you should have; you must understand your needs. High-quality meal replacement shakes, and protein shakes can help you maintain your energy, fight cravings, keep your metabolism up, and help repair your muscles during your post-workout recovery.
Pros and Cons of Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss
Advantages of Meal Replacement Shakes
Shakes are a better alternative to fast food and other unhealthy meals.
For people who are busy, having a meal replacement shake on hand could be a great idea for a quick lunch. They are definitely more nutritious than a burger and fries or anything you would grab from a vending machine, which is what many people do when they’re rushed. These shakes don’t have saturated or trans fats than processed foods do.
They are a better choice than skipping meals.
There are a lot of reasons that you should avoid skipping meals—it is not healthy, doesn’t provide you with health benefits, and can have major side effects. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar starts going on a rollercoaster ride.
As your blood sugar levels drop, your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs, so you may become weak or dizzy. Skipping meals also puts your body into starvation mode, which decreases your metabolism. Your blood sugar levels will remain constant when you have a meal replacement shake, and your body will get the nutrition that it needs.
Drinking meal replacement shakes is a better choice than skipping meals or eating poorly planned meals. It is a much healthier high-protein meal option to fill your stomach and combat hunger.
Can meal replacement shakes help you lose weight?
Drinking meal replacement shakes is a better choice than skipping meals or eating poorly planned meals.
Save time in food prep and calorie counting.
There is very little preparation involved in making a meal replacement shake. You either buy it pre-made, or you buy the powder and mix it with milk or water. You know exactly how many calories you are consuming for your meal, which will then make it easy to count your calories for the day.
Convenient for people who are always on the go.
If you don’t have much time during the week to meal plan or meal prep, you may find yourself grabbing fast food between meetings. Or maybe you keep a granola bar in your bag.
Breakfast may be an especially big issue if you are always rushed because it is tempting to grab a donut with your coffee or a Danish in the employee break room. However, if you can take a meal replacement shake with you on the way out of the house and drink it during your commute, this will help keep you full until lunch.
Provide all the nutrients regular meals may lack.
If you eat a piece of pizza and have a soft drink for lunch, what nutrients are you really providing your body with? Maybe some calcium in the cheese on the pizza, and possibly some vitamins if you put vegetables on top, but not much. Meal replacement shakes give you a wide variety of nutrients that many meals may lack, making them equivalent to a well-rounded meal.
Help you lose weight faster.
When you are counting calories and know exactly what is going into your body—and you stick to a routine—you will start to lose weight quickly. There are not many variables involved once you find a meal replacement shake that works for you, so you can predictably lose weight at the pace that you choose.
Disadvantages of using meal replacement shakes
Some shakes have unhealthy ingredients.
Some meal replacement shakes for weight loss contain preservatives, excess sugar, and other potentially harmful ingredients, but every product is different. For example, one shake could have a high amount of sodium, while another doesn’t.
This means that if you have issues with your blood pressure, you will want to choose the meal replacement shake with a lower amount of sodium. Other ingredients that you want to look out for include preservatives, excess sugar, and excess carbohydrates.
Don’t help you change unhealthy eating habits.
Just because you are replacing a meal or two with a shake, it doesn’t mean it will change your eating and health habits throughout the day and during the last meal of the day. If you drink two meal replacement shakes each day but are still eating a fast food dinner and snacking on candy bars, the shakes will not provide you with the intended benefits.
Plus, becoming reliant on shakes can leave you clueless about how to make healthy meal choices. Traditional diets are more complicated, but they do help you learn about portion control and proper nutrition.
Meal replacement shakes don’t help you get rid of those unhealthy eating habits. They just provide a healthier alternative, give you the nutrients you need and help you feel fuller.
Remember: Just because you are replacing a meal or two with a shake, it doesn’t mean it will change your eating habits throughout the day and during the last meal of the day.
Not a long-term solution.
Just as you likely wouldn’t eat the same meal for the rest of your life, you probably don’t want to have a meal replacement shake every day for the rest of your life either. They are a healthy option when you are in a pinch, but you won’t want to give up whole foods to drink shakes for an extended period of time.
Can get expensive.
Meal replacement shakes—especially high-quality ones—are expensive. They are not something you can make inexpensively in bulk and spread out throughout the week, only paying pennies per serving.
They are as expensive as eating a small meal out, which also gets expensive if that is what you do every day. This is why the first tip to saving money often has to do with packing lunch at home or making coffee at home instead of stopping by a café each morning.
How to Choose the Best Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss
Check the ingredients. A good meal replacement shake should:
Be rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates (2:1 ratio).
You want your meal replacement shake to have a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats. Excess carbs are transformed into sugar, which can potentially be turned into fat. While you do want to have healthy fats in your diet to support optimal health, you don’t want brown fat that comes from simple carbohydrates.
Contains between 200 to 400 calories.
Anything that provides your body with energy has calories, and anything you consume that your body has a use for contains calories so you can have energy. If you consume more calories than your body needs, that extra energy will be converted into fat. If you reduce the number of calories you consume, it will force your body to convert stored fat into energy.
Have a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Because you are replacing a meal with this shake, you want to make sure that the shake is well-rounded and includes everything that a healthy meal would contain. Vitamins are essential to your body, but your body is unable to produce them, so you have to include them in your diet—which means including them in your meal replacement shakes.
You want your meal replacement shake to have a good balance of proteins and carbs, Excess carbs are easily transformed into sugars from where they can be turned into fat.
When choosing your meal replacement shake, check the ingredients. You want your meal replacement shake to have a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats.
Have a dose of fiber (at least three grams of fiber per serving).
Fiber gives you energy without adding excess calories. Fiber helps keep you full and reduces the breakdown of carbs in your body, which will help you feel fuller longer. Finally, fiber also keeps the digestive system healthy and reduces bloating.
Have essential fatty acids (some omega-3 fatty acids).
Contrary to popular belief, your body needs fats to work at an optimal level. One of the best reasons to include healthy fats in your diet is that they help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Your liver processes the sugar that you consume. When you have a high level of sugar in your blood, it forces your liver to change that sugar into fat. You should always avoid added sugars in your diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Have no corn syrup and no hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Corn syrup is a very concentrated sugar, and hydrogenated oils are trans fats that lengthen a food’s shelf life. Both of these ingredients are harmful to your health, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Now that you know why you would want to consume meal replacement shakes and what to look for when you are choosing one to buy, let’s look at the best options on the market today for weight loss. Here are our best meal replacement shakes for weight loss review.
Our Favorite Meal Replacement Shake for Weight Loss
Meal replacement shakes can help you reach your weight loss goals. Choose yours wisely, and don’t be afraid to try different products until you find the best one for you. To find the success you want, you need to make sure to do your research and know which options will be best for what you are trying to accomplish.
That being said, the best option to start with is the RSP TrueFit – Lean Meal Replacement Protein Shake, Gourmet Chocolate Milkshake. This product will keep you full for hours and contains the vitamins and minerals that your body needs while being low in artificial flavors and sugars.
Sure, you’ve done some research but you still can’t quite decide whether or not whey protein is for you…
So you know whey protein by name and reputation and have come to view it as synonymous with health, fitness, and muscle development and recovery, but for those of us out there looking to trim a few pounds, gain lean muscle or move down a pant size, does adding whey protein to your diet make you put on weight?
The short answer for skim readers is yes, but it is not as simple as that. The same as with any aspect of dietary additions, where your body is not making use of that additional fuel, or your balance of exercise and intake is off kilter, essentially too much whey and not enough exercise could result in more body fat. But don’t stop reading here. Before you go and bin this invaluable part of your gym supplement arsenal, there are some facts that you need to know.
First up, let’s take a look at what whey protein actually is.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is found in milk, along with casein, which is the protein that is slowly digested making it ideal for long-haul slogs and for consuming before you sleep. Whey is created in the production of cheese, from the liquid whey that remains when curds come together. When whey protein is made the whey liquid is processed and refined to separate the proteins from the fats and lactose, and then dried to produce a powder.
The end result of whey protein as you know it in its powdered form is a concoction of different proteins including alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, serum albumin, lactoferrin and immunoglobulins (antibodies). All proteins are made of amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks of protein. Whey protein, which is low in lactose, is a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. High amounts of branched-chain amino acids are responsible for better muscle protein synthesis.
There are several kinds of whey protein available as supplements, including whey isolate, concentrate, hydrolysate. Whey protein, as sold by Myprotein, has a high bioavailability, which means that it is readily, easily absorbed into your system in comparison to many food sources of protein.
So we know how it is used in our bodies where building muscle is concerned, but when you are not working out regularly where does all that whey go? Does it make you fat?
Does whey protein make you fat?
This question is similar to other regularly searched questions regarding your diet, such as does chicken make you fat? This is a good example of a chicken is a lean meat, low in the fats you don’t want, high in protein like whey. It is healthy, good for building muscle mass and also perfect for lean diets for cutting weight. Logically speaking, if you ate too much chicken that outbalanced your exercise regimen, you could expect to gain weight. Right?
It is widely considered a myth that whey protein makes you fat. Alone it does not make you fat and is, in fact, a staple in many fat-trimming diets. Our aforementioned simple answer that, yes, whey could make you fat is a matter of usage. If consumed in bigger quantities without an exercise plan to balance it out, it could attribute to weight gain. This is because of the fact that whey is a quality source of calories. All macronutrients, in fact, could lead to weight gain in excess. Fats and carbs are commonly seen as the usual suspects, but protein also is a factor in your daily calorie intake. Your body only has a need for a certain number of calories – as suggested in daily recommendations – depending on your lifestyle and the level of your regular exercise. For mass muscle gainers, a surplus of calories is a must. For dieters and lean gainers, the balance needs to be more on point and so a certain level of exercise must be maintained to avoid a surplus of calories.
Another side of the argument (without scientific studies) is that whey makes your body store more fat because of its effect on your insulin levels. It does this by raising your insulin levels, which are affected by the amount of energy you consume and the amount you burn off.
So if whey doesn’t make you gain weight, can it help you burn it?
Whey protein’s other benefits
Whey can help you to increase your ability to burn fat when your body uses it as a protein source before exercise. This is called beta-oxidation wherein the fatty acid molecules in your cells will break down and produce acetyl-CoA, which is essential for your body’s ability to metabolize.
Whey protein also plays a role in thermogenesis, which is the body’s ability to convert calories into heat energies. Consuming whey protein can lead to more calories being burned, and thus losing weight, by burning more calories for your body to use as energy for muscle contraction
Whey protein also helps to regulate your hunger by increasing the production of the hormone, Cholecystokinin (CCK), which is a peptide hormone that stimulates fat and protein digestion.
No It Won’t Make You Fat: Reasons You Should Be Drinking Protein After a Workout
From beginner to bodybuilder, everyone needs their protein.
Zach NewmanFollow Jan 13, 2017 · 4 min read
Somewhere along the line it seems the general public has come to accept that protein supplements (shakes, powders, bottled protein drinks) are for big, Hulk-like bodybuilding gym rats who rattle the gym floor after each and every step as they maneuver their way through their domain.
But the honest truth is, protein is for everybody. Allow me to break it down for you.
Side note: I’ll be using the term “protein” to encompass protein supplements in all their forms — powders, shakes, store bought drinks, etc.
What is protein anyway?
So protein, alongside carbohydrates and fats, is one of the three macronutrients we need to carry out various functions and provide the energy we need to do work. Protein, specifically, is important because it is composed of 20 different amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue which is mostly comprised of proteins which are a major component of all body tissue.
Why do we need protein after a workout?
After a workout, especially after a resistance workout, our muscles are fatigued. They undergo stress throughout the course of the workout that causes them to break down. Following the workout, the body begins to repair these muscle tissues in a way that will build them stronger and more durable in order to sustain another workout of that caliber.
In the muscle rebuilding process, this is called “protein synthesis” whereby new proteins are generated to replace damaged or old ones. When we take in protein, quality protein that contains all essential amino acids, we aid our body in this process as the protein we take in is used to rebuild the muscle stronger and quicker.
Does it matter if I did cardio or lifted weights?
No, both cardio and resistance (also referred to as weight training, lifting, etc.) workouts can benefit from added protein intake immediately following the workout. Both place great demands on the body’s muscular tissue causing muscle fatigue that can benefit from the intake of protein.
I will say, though, that because resistance training places greater demands on the muscles than cardio does, and produces more micro-tears in the muscle tissue that the body must repair and build stronger, it is wildly more important that we get the protein we need to rebuild these muscles as soon as possible.
But doesn’t protein make you gain weight? Will I get fat?
Protein won’t make you gain weight. You gain weight when you eat more calories than your body needs to maintain. That is called being in a caloric surplus. Most protein powders contain anywhere from 100–150 calories a scoop and are very low in carbs and fats.
What you see is probably people taking mass gainers that contain double or triple the amount of calories per serving that an average protein powder does and then doing nothing with it — not working out.
You may also be seeing people taking multiple shakes a day that are added with extras like peanut butter, bananas, oats, and other ingredients. These kinds of extra ingredients are fine and they can enhance the benefits and taste of your shake, but when taken in excess they add too many calories to your diet thus putting you in a caloric surplus causing you to gain weight. Additionally, if these people aren’t putting in the work like they should, all of these added calories get stored as fat.
So no, protein supplements won’t make you fat. Protein itself won’t make you fat. Whether you’re looking to break world records, personal records, or even just become leaner, protein supplements are an excellent way to facilitate muscle development.
Of course, if you can meet your daily protein intake needs through “real food” then by all means go for it. If you can whip together a solid meal after a workout then kudos to you. Protein supplements are just a quick and accessible way to get the protein you need post-workout as soon as possible.
Protein is an essential part of the human diet, and most Americans eat plenty of it.
Adults should eat a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily — that’s about 58 grams for a 160-pound adult, according to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.
At any meal, consuming 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish, or half of a cup of cooked beans, is what’s suggested.
Portion sizes in the U.S. are often bigger than that, Metos said.
Three ounces of protein is a serving about the size of the palm of your hand, she said. “But a hamburger at a fast food place is usually 4 ounces. And if you get a double burger, it’s 8 ounces.”
While eating more protein than what’s recommended is not necessarily bad for you, if the excess protein in a diet is contributing to excess calories, it can contribute to weight gain.
Here are three more things you should know about protein.
A high-protein diet may help with weight loss — but only for a little while.
Although there is some evidence to suggest that high-protein, low-carb diets help people lose weight more quickly than low-fat, high-carb diets, it remains unclear if high-protein diets can work for the long term.
In a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers looked at 311 overweight and obese women, and divided them into four groups. Each group followed either the Zone diet (which roughly balances protein, carbohydrates and fat intake), the Atkins diet (high protein, low carb), the LEARN diet (low fat), or Ornish diet (low fat) for one year.
At the end of the study, they found that women on the Atkins diet, who ate the most high-protein meals, lost about 10 pounds, while women in the other groups who lost between three and six pounds.
But experts have said that not all the women in the study stuck with their assigned diets.
Metos said that current research suggests focusing weight-loss efforts on reducing the number calories you eat. “The protein, fat and carbohydrate content is not a factor, as long as the calories are reduced.”
“Some people report they feel more full with a higher-protein diet, so it could help them indirectly to lower their calorie intake, but over time it is not shown to be better,” she said.
Adding more protein to your diet doesn’t promote muscle growth.
In a 2004 study, researchers looked at whether adding more protein to an athlete’s diet would affect performance and muscle build.
They found that while athletes — especially those involved with sports that require a lot of endurance and muscle power, such as long-distance runners or football players — may benefit from increased protein intake, most athletes in the study get enough protein from their regular diets.
Even body builders need only a little bit of extra protein to support muscle growth, which they can get by eating more food, reports the National Institutes of Health.
“People who are trying to get into shape think they need more protein, so they drink protein shakes,” Metos said, “but they probably don’t need that at all.”
Eating too much protein can be bad for your health.
The health risks of eating too much protein greatly depend on what kind of protein you eat, but some high-protein foods are also rich in saturated fat, which can raise the risk of heart disease.
“It’s OK to eat a little extra protein, as long as you keep your calories in check,” Metos said. “Protein has calories, so if you eat a little too much, and don’t exercise, it can get stored as fat.”
In a large study published in the June issue of the British Medical Journal, researchers looked at nearly 44,000 women in Sweden, who were in their 30s and 40s at the study’s start, who completed dietary questionnaires. After 15 years, the study group experienced 1,270 cardiac events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
The researchers found that for every 20 fewer grams of carbohydrates that study participants ate daily, and 5 more grams of protein eaten daily, the risk of heart disease increased by 5 percent.
In addition to heart disease, studies suggest that eating high amounts of protein can contribute to high cholesterol levels, gout and may put a strain on the kidneys, especially those who suffer from kidney disease.
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How Whey Protein May Affect Weight
Researchers say a couple of things may help to explain the weight and fat loss seen with whey protein.
People in the whey protein group had significantly lower blood levels of the hormone ghrelin than people eating the soy protein or carbohydrate.
“It’s a hormone that helps regulate food intake,” says David J. Baer, PhD, research physiologist at the USDA’s agriculture research service in Beltsville, Md. “So the higher concentration, the more hungry somebody feels. The lower concentration, the fuller somebody feels.”
And though researchers really can’t explain why this happened or what it means, they found that people drinking the whey protein had cut back on their carbohydrate intake by the end of the study, even though they weren’t eating fewer total calories and didn’t know what kind of supplement they were getting.
Though people drinking soy protein saw little change in their weight or body composition during the study, they had higher levels of thyroid hormones compared to those drinking whey. Thyroid hormones control metabolism and higher levels may indicate a metabolic boost, though more research is needed to fully explain what that may mean for weight loss.
For people who are hoping to replicate the results at home, researchers advise picking a whey product that is also low in calories and fat.
“A lot of the whey products on the market also have a lot of calories in them,” Baer says, “Consumers just need to read those labels.”
How Whey Protein Can Help You Lose Fat
Sleep, genetics, your training program, nutrition, and stress all play a role in how your body looks and how you feel. If you’ve reined in your diet and are doing tons of resistance training but you still can’t seem to drop body fat, whey protein may help.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a milk protein that is the liquid byproduct of cheese production. In supplement form, whey protein comes in three main forms.
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey protein concentrate contains anywhere between 29-89-percent protein depending on the specific product. It also has some fat and lactose. Concentrates often have more bioactive compounds than more refined forms of whey protein. That means they have more nutrients, but it also can make them harder to digest if you’re sensitive to dairy.
Since whey protein concentrate is the most carb- and fat-rich type of whey protein, it’s a little higher in calories than an isolate or hydrolysate. But, it’s a good choice for a meal replacement when you want some of these other macros anyway. It’s also the most affordable type of whey protein.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate has been filtered so it contains less fat, cholesterol, and lactose than whey protein concentrate, and 90 percent or more protein. Whey protein isolate is high-protein, fast-digesting, and versatile. You can shake it up with water when you need a quick protein source or blend it with other goodies to keep you full longer.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey protein hydrolysate is the most pure and refined type of whey protein. It’s already partially broken down (pre-digested, in a sense) so it’s easier to absorb. Hydrolysates are taken up quicker than both whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.
Some people who have trouble digesting isolates and concentrates do OK with hydrolysate protein powders. It’s a little pricier than other whey protein options, but worth it for its fast action and digestibility.
How is Whey Protein Unique?
Whey protein has the highest possible protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), a measure of both how well a protein is digested and how well it supplies the amino acids you need. Compared to other sources of dietary protein, whey protein goes down easy and is taken up quickly.
In addition, whey protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are aminos your body can’t produce, that you have to get through food or supplements. Whey also contains more branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) than any other source of protein, particularly leucine.
BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, valine, and isoleucine. These amino acids can increase muscle protein synthesis and give you energy for resistance exercise. Muscle protein synthesis is the body’s process of creating new muscle mass.
You can get these important amino acids as supplements or from dietary protein. Since whey protein has a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids as well as being more quickly digested than other protein sources, it’s one of the best places to get your BCAAs.
How Can Whey Protein Help You Lose Body Fat?
Consuming whey protein pre- or post-workout just might help you tip the scale in favor of muscle growth and strength gains over time. But this mainstay protein powder can help you lose fat, too.
Whey Protein Is Rich in Leucine
Leucine is an amino acid that plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis. Protein synthesis doesn’t just build your muscles, the process also burns through quite a few calories. In addition, it stimulates fatty acid oxidation (i.e. fat burning).
Whey Satiates Your Appetite
Of all the macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), protein is best at making you feel satiated, or full. If you’re cutting calories, choosing foods that are as satiating as possible will help make sticking to your diet less stressful.
Studies show that milk proteins such as whey may satiate your appetite better than some other protein sources. But, having a high enough protein intake in general is the most important thing. Eat plenty of dietary protein from food sources like meat, eggs, and fish, and supplement with whey protein to max out your protein intake.
Protein is even more filling when paired with fiber. Make a meal replacement shake with whey protein powder, fruit, and some leafy greens to fill up on minimal calories.
Scientific Research on Whey
Whey protein supplementation has a lot of potential to help with weight loss, based on scientific research. For instance:
- In a placebo-controlled study on whey protein and dieting, one group of dieters was given a whey protein supplement, and the other group was given a placebo. The whey protein group lost more fat than the control group, and kept more muscle mass.
- Another study in 2006 found that adding 60 grams of whey protein per day, in comparison to 60 grams of soy protein or 60 grams of carbohydrate, led to decreases in body fat and weight after 6 months.
Lose Fat, Keep Your Gains
It’s tough to diet for weight loss while keeping your hard-earned muscle mass. Whey protein is a crucial weapon in this struggle. As we’ve seen, the amino acids in whey protein support muscle protein synthesis. This doesn’t only help you build new muscle, it also helps protect existing muscle.
During weight loss, when the body doesn’t have as many calories available during and after resistance exercise, it can break down muscles to use as fuel. Drinking whey protein can help stop that from happening, because your body will metabolize these amino acids instead of the ones in your muscles.
Whey Protein Versus Casein
Like whey protein, casein is another type of milk protein that can help with protein synthesis and satiety. But, they’re not interchangeable.
Whey protein is great before or after resistance training because it gives you a quick hit of amino acids. This is especially true of whey protein isolate or hydrolysate.
Casein protein is slower to digest than whey-based powders. It won’t hit your muscles as quickly, but it gives you a steady supply of amino acids over several hours. It can be substituted for whey protein as a meal replacement or before bed, but whey protein is better for pre- or post-workout.
Additional Tips to Help Shed Body Fat
- Use a food journal and write down everything you eat. You’ll be able to uncover habits you didn’t realize were holding you back and find ways to improve.
- Contact a registered dietitian. These professionals have the education and experience to give you personalized advice and hone your nutrition plan.
- Check out our page to see what strategies others have used to successfully drop fat pounds.
If you’ve added whey protein and are doing everything else right but you’re still struggling to lose weight, talk to your doctor. Low levels of certain hormones and other conditions can make weight loss more difficult.
If you want to shed body fat, whey protein can be a smart addition to your routine. Between its hunger-slaying and muscle-protecting abilities, it can give you a boost to keep your body composition heading in the right direction.
Photo: Cellucor Instagram
Protein is a satiating macronutrient that boosts energy expenditure and decreases appetite. If you’re trying to lose weight, increasing your protein intake with a whey protein supplement can help you get rid of fat, build and maintain muscle.
How does whey protein encourage weight loss?
During digestion, protein utilises almost five times the number of calories as carbohydrates or fat during processing. This is because protein sources induce an increase in thermogenesis, a metabolic process that increases body temperature and burns calories.
Whey is the most thermogenic source of protein meaning you continue to burn calories well after consumption. Along with speeding up your metabolism, protein helps you feel full for longer, which can result in you eating less and losing weight.
Whey triggers the anabolic process, a part of metabolism, which involves the creation of new muscle mass, tissues and cells in the body. Protein Synthesis is an example of an anabolic process.
Promotes Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS)
Muscle protein synthesis is the building of new muscle, usually maximised after training. Whey digests quickly and is rich in BCAAs, which plays a major role in promoting MPS and post-exercise recovery. Protein synthesis ensures you retain muscle and gain muscle easily as you shed fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body can burn.
Decreases hunger and curbs appetite
Studies have shown that whey protein can increase levels of satiety-producing hormones and reduce levels of the hormone responsible for hunger.
Since there are a few different types of whey protein, which you can learn more about in this blog post, try to find the one that will best suit all of your needs.
SuppsRus offers an excellent selection of whey protein in addition to other types of protein supplements.
Top 6 Whey Protein Powders for Weight Loss
Here are six of the top-selling whey protein powders for weight loss
Muscletech – NitroTech 100% Whey Gold
A hydrolysed whey protein featuring the most premium whey isolate and concentrate for a superior amino acid profile. It contains 24 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine per serving.
Optimum Nutrition – Gold Standard 100% Whey
This product is one of the best-selling whey protein powders worldwide. Available in a range of sizes and flavours, this product by Optimum Nutrition contains 24 grams of whey protein and 5 grams of BCAAs per scoop.
GHOST – WHEY
Ghost Whey is a premium whey protein blend from protein isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate with natural digestive enzymes.Featuring amazing flavours, packed with 25g of protein, and only 130 calories per serving.
Cellucor – Cor Performance Whey
A whey protein isolate based formula that packs 25g of protein per serving and features 100% whey protein and minimal fats or carbs.
Muscle Pharm – COMBAT 100% WHEY
Combat 100% Whey combines two sources of whey protein, protein isolate and protein concentrate. It contains 25 grams of protein, 1g of sugar and is gluten-free & low in sodium.
Pro Supps – PS WHEY
PS Whey, a blend of 20% protein isolate & 80% protein concentrate, will give you 24g of protein per serving.
A Weight Loss Tool
Adding whey protein to your diet can most definitely aid weight loss; however, protein powders alone won’t help you lose weight. A combination of protein and training is needed to get the best results. Remember for weight loss to occur, you must decrease your calorie intake, burn more calories through exercise (or a combination of both) to create a calorie deficit.
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