When you think of protein supplementation, you may not consider how it can help you control weight. It is true- protein shakes in conjunction with a healthy eating and exercise regimen can play a vital role in weight loss. Protein is satisfying and filling- it can help you feel satisfied longer, so you snack less. Plus, you should consider protein’s role in building lean muscle mass when combined with working out. All in all, protein can be a useful component of your daily routine!
Before beginning a new regimen or routine, like protein supplementation, speak to your health providers, practitioners, and trainers to learn more. They can discuss the best options and products to help you reach your own, distinctive wellness goals.
Here is what you should know about protein shakes and weight loss.
Protein Shakes and Supplements
Thinking about supplementing with protein? It can be a daunting task to try and navigate the world of protein powders by yourself, without any research. There are just so many brands, kinds, and types of protein supplements on the market. Some offer flavors, others do not, many are meant for meal replacement while some contain far fewer calories- the choices are endless.
Additionally, you have prefabricated protein shakes in addition to powders that help you to make your own. Which one do you choose?
If weight loss is your goal, protein supplementation makes sense. Protein helps people shed weight by keeping them satiated and satisfied longer, keeping hunger hormones at bay. Protein puts some pep in your step, too, so you can move more, get stuff done, and feel like a champ while doing it. These effects of protein can be very motivating and facilitating weight loss- if you take your protein products as recommended. Too much protein can be problematic and could cause weight gain.
Always enjoy your protein shakes in moderation and use them to reach your fitness and health goals successfully. With regular exercise, you may find that protein shakes are the resource that you have been missing when trying to lose weight previously. As always, discuss your plans and goals with your doctor or provider to ensure your wellbeing, or to learn more.
Different Types of Proteins
All proteins are not the same. There are a lot of different options when it comes to protein- something for virtually everyone. Men, women, vegans, carnivores, young, old- everyone can find a protein product or shake that suits them. Again, talk to your provider or trainer if you have questions.
Here are some of the protein supplements that you will find when checking out your options. Which one sounds best for you?
Whey is the most common protein powder or supplement found widely. It is also the most inexpensive, which may contribute to its popularity. This particular type of protein comes from dairy, cow’s milk to be exact, and it is easily consumed and absorbed into and by the body. Whey protein is very easy to find, too, so you won’t be searching all over for your favorites.
Casein protein also comes from cow’s milk, but it costs a bit more. This type of protein keeps you fuller, longer than whey, so it is also slowly digested. This is a good option for those serious about losing weight.
Egg Based Protein
Egg based protein powder is easy for the body to absorb. These formulas are often comprised of egg whites, and they are priced competitively with other protein products that you find on the health and wellness market. Since it is made from eggs, this would not be a viable option for vegans or vegetarians. Remember that if you eat actual eggs, you also get the added nutrition and protein of the yolks, too.
Soy protein is popular among vegans and plant-based eaters. It is a lot like an animal protein, but without animal products, and it is considered a complete protein with all the amino acids that are essential to the body.
Pea protein makes good sense for vegans or vegetarians, and pea protein is a complete protein. When you supplement with pea protein, you may want to add a bit of nut milk to your shake. This will help to provide the extra aminos (like methionine) that could be slightly lacking in your pea protein shake or supplement.
Hemp protein is also a complete protein- and a plant based one, at that. It is considered an excellent source of omega-3s, which offer a wide range of holistic health advantages. Again, this is a shake that benefits from a bit of nut butter to increase the content of amino acids when weight loss is your goal.
Brown Rice Protein
Many vegans choose brown rice protein powder, another complete protein source. Again, this protein is lower in the amino acid lysine, so keep this in mind when supplementing.
If you currently supplement with Collagen– and many people are right now- know that collagen is a type of protein but it is an incomplete source of protein. That is, you should not depend on it for all the protein in your weight loss regimen.
Protein Shakes and Weight Loss
So, what is it that protein shakes do that can cause weight loss? Remember that protein is key for weight management- as well as for building lean muscle mass. There are so many holistic health benefits of protein- but for now, suffice to say that protein can be key for success in taking off weight.
Protein boosts your metabolism, so you are going to feel more energized which fosters weight loss. What else does protein do to help you lose pounds? Here are a few more protein perks:
- Protein is nourishing and more filling than carbohydrates, like refined sugars or white flour. Adding more protein to your diet can increase metabolism, build muscle, and lose weight.
- Protein is effective at controlling appetite as it takes longer to digest than other foods, like a piece of fruit.
- Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels- which is good news for anyone with diabetes. It makes you feel less empty and grumpy when you go a long time between meals.
- Protein helps to manage and control the hunger hormones in the body, so you are labile and moody when you haven’t eaten. Heard of being ‘hangry’? Protein can help!
- Whey protein, in particular, is effective at increasing the rate of muscle growth. This is exponentially increased when combined with consistent physical activity and exercise.
Keep in mind that all the muscle that you build causes you to burn more calories- even when you are not working out and your muscles are at rest! Staying fit and toned has lasting advantages in terms of weight management and control.
How to Get Started
Are you excited about getting started? Consider this the first day of your new routine. First, you must determine which kind of protein and what product you will use to supplement. If you are a vegan, look for protein powders for vegan-friendly shakes; they are out there! Remember that you have varied options of protein to choose from, including soy, rice, pea, hemp- the choice is yours. Unsure? Whey protein is an excellent place to start!
Are you planning to make your own protein shakes? Do you have a blender? If you do not plan on investing in a decent kitchen blender, perhaps buying pre-made protein shakes makes the most sense for your lifestyle. These will cost more, but the convenience may be worth it to many.
When you mix your own, consider using a low-fat or plant-based milk in your shakes. Also, consider adding some fruit or other ingredients to bulk-up your shake… but more on that later!
Do you know how much protein you need per day? Most people need to garner about one-quarter of their daily calories from protein for the energy and stamina to get through their day. The amount of protein that you specifically need depends on things like your age, health condition, and BMI, or body mass index. Talk to your trainer to learn more.
Remember to always use protein powders and products as recommended- taking more can often cause problems and curtail your progress. Too much protein puts a lot of strain and burden on the kidneys, which may be an issue for folks with diabetes or kidney disease. Furthermore, too much protein can cause the body to get rid of valuable amino acids. Stick to the directions and recommendations for use provided on the product label.
Some more tips regarding protein supplementation include the following advice:
- Too much protein may have the opposite of the desired effects. That is, if you consume too many protein shakes throughout the day, you may notice that your weight fluctuates or increases. You could be compromising progress toward your goals with too much protein.
- Protein shakes are fine as meal replacement options- just check the nutritional info and calorie content to make sure it will satisfy and nourish you. Some protein supplements may not have enough calories to satisfy, which may cause you to snack or binge later-on.
- Who says you can only mix your protein powder with water? Try making it more palatable and filling with some additions, like frozen fruit, berries, or avocado. Some people like to add nut butter to their shake for flavor and even more protein!
- If you are replacing meals with shakes, keep it at one meal replacement per day. Some products suggest that you replace two meals per day with protein shakes, but that is challenging to maintain and could cause you to binge.
- Remember that small modifications can have big results over time if you are consistent. Focus on changes that you can make every day- and that will show on the scale.
- Did you know that resistance training can increase the impacts of protein supplements? If you do some sort of resistance work, like squats or push-ups, you can boost muscle gains and speed up your metabolism!
Still got questions? Seek out a professional. This may be a dietician or your personal trainer- they all know the ins and outs of protein shakes. Plus, consulting with an expert can help you form a sustainable plan to lose weight that works, whether protein supplements are part of the mix or not.
Protein shakes are another tool to have in your repertoire for effective and efficient weight loss. You have a lot of options- and eating more protein may make you feel satiated, which can prevent snacking and binging. If you want to increase muscle, too, protein makes sense.
It always makes the most sense to discuss your health and wellness goals with your trainer, physician, or dietician, before starting any new diet plan. Know that protein shakes may not be an easy fix, but they can contribute to success for those looking to take off weight.
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