Can Protein Shakes Assist in Weight Loss?

The journey to lose excess body weight is about much more than looking your best. Obesity can cause profound health problems including diabetes, infertility, cardiovascular disease, and much more. There are many diets on the market today that claim to offer quick weight loss results. The problem is that they tend to not be sustainable and the weight piles back on just as quickly as it came off. However, there are still products available to assist you in your weight loss journey. Protein shakes and powders are one type of product that when used correctly can help you lose weight and keep it off!

What is a Protein Shake?

There are many different types of protein shakes on the market. The type that most people are familiar with is protein powders that are mixed with either water or milk. Since their rise in popularity, protein shakes now come in a variety of forms such as premixed shakes and smoothies where all you have to do is remove the cap and consume the beverage.

Let’s debunk a widespread myth right off the bat. Protein shakes were first associated with helping weight lifters to bulk up. This association has made individuals, especially women who do not have a desire to bulk up leery of consuming these products. The truth of the matter is that protein shakes will not cause you to bulk up. It will aid those who wish to bulk up by being a component of a healthy diet and fueling the body for weightlifting.

What are Protein Shakes Comprised of?

When striving to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important to understand what you are putting in your body. Whey and casein are the two most common types of proteins used in protein shakes. Whey is absorbed quickly by the body, while casein is absorbed more slowly. Many powders and shakes contain a mixture of the two. Both of these types of proteins are derived from milk. However, if you’re vegan, there’s plenty of options for you as well. Protein powders derived from soy, hemp, and pea are the most common vegan protein shakes consumed. It is also common for protein shakes to contain other essential nutrients to help fuel your body.

What comes as a surprise to many is that while protein shakes can help you in the gym, they can also assist in weight loss. That’s right! Let’s take a look at the mechanisms that allow protein shakes to help you shed those extra pounds.

Why are Protein Shakes a Catalyst for Weight Loss?

When it comes to achieving weight loss, the formula is simple. You must burn more calories than you are consuming. It sounds like a walk in the park; however, it is much easier said than done. There are a lot of factors that go into the rate at which calories are burned. The most important factor is nutrition and understanding of how nutrients are broken down and absorbed by the body.

You want to consume nutrient-rich foods that will help you to feel fuller for longer. There is no doubt you’ve heard of the many diets on the market that call for low or zero carbs. There is a reason for this. Carbohydrates are easily broken down by the body. This means you can consume a large number of calories in carbs, and still be hungry a few hours later. Inherently, you are consuming more calories when on a high carb diet, which hinders weight loss.

woman sitting cross-legged with a healthy protein shake to help with weight loss after a good workoutProtein Breaks Down More Slowly

Protein, on the other hand, works differently. It takes longer for the body to digest. This means when you consume a diet high in protein, you will feel fuller for longer, which translates into fewer overall calories consumed. Protein shakes are high in protein, meaning it takes your body longer to break down and absorb, reducing your appetite.

Protein Builds Muscle

Protein helps to build and retain muscle. This is not to be confused with bulking up. You must add-in weight-work in order to bulk up. Muscle helps to burn fat. Protein shakes are a catalyst for burning fat. The higher the muscle to fat ratio, the more calories your body is able to burn.

How to Consume Protein Shakes Properly to Aid in Weight Loss

With so many protein shakes and powders on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones to turn to for successful weight loss. Be aware of protein shakes that have added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Steer clear of these as they can hinder your progress. Also, stay away from those products that have artificial coloring and preservatives. A good rule of thumb to follow is the fewer ingredients the better!

When consuming protein shakes for weight loss, it is important to understand that you are working the protein shakes into your calorie allotment for the day, not in addition too. Failure to follow this very important guideline will cause you to consume extra calories a day and make you gain weight. It is also important to remember to consume a balanced diet in conjunction with protein shakes. They are not a substitute for a well-balanced meal.

Incorporating Protein Shakes into Your Diet

There are a few different ways you can effectively add protein shakes into your everyday diet:

  • Replace snacks with protein shakes.
  • If you use protein shakes as a meal replacement, add-in essential nutrients such as spinach, fruit, etc.
  • Drink protein shakes as a part of your meal.

Whichever way you choose to incorporate protein shakes into your diet, be sure that you are accounting for the calories.

Lose the Weight and Keep it Off for Good!

Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss are the leaders in helping patients lose weight and keep it off. Every patient is treated like family and can expect a custom and easy to follow diet and exercise plan, along with necessary medications to aid in appetite restraint, and most importantly ongoing nutritional counseling and support. Contact us today and let us help you jump-start your weight loss journey!