protein shakes for weight loss

How To Use Protein Shakes For Weight Loss

Nowadays, people who are on a diet or want to lose weight are seen using protein shakes and weight loss shakes. Protein is an important nutrient that your body requires not only for muscle-building but for overall health & nutrition too. There are so many myths around protein shakes for weight loss. In this post, we try to clear all your doubts about how protein shakes can help you lose weight.

What are protein shakes?
Protein shakes contain the powdered form of protein i.e. soy or whey, which is a by-product of the cheese making process. In most protein shakes additional flavoring is added, so that when it is mixed with water or milk it tastes like a milkshake.

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Each protein shake can contain a different type of protein. Each of these variants has their own characteristics. Some of the most common types of protein powders are –

1. Soy protein 
It is a plant based protein which contains all the essential amino acids. It also contains soy isoflavones, which have various health benefits.
2. Whey protein
It’s a dairy based protein that gets quickly absorbed. Whey protein has all the essential amino acids.
3. Hemp protein 
Hemp protein is a plant based protein. It is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, but low in lysine, an essential amino acid.
4. Rice protein 
Rice protein is also a plant based protein. It is low in essential amino acid lysine.
5. Pea protein 
It is a plant based protein low in non-essential amino acids cysteine and methionine. Some brands have a mix of proteins to complement each other’s amino acid profile.

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Does protein shake help in losing weight? 
When the quantity of protein is increased in the diet, it may reduce appetite which will ultimately lead to decreased hunger pangs. But diets that include only protein shakes for weight loss work because you are reducing the number of kilojoules (calories) consumed in a day.
Experts say that it isn’t the protein in the shakes that leads to weight loss. Since you’re consuming fewer kilojoules by cutting down on carbohydrates, it causes indirect weight loss. Diets that include only weight loss shakes or protein shakes will show a dip in your weight in the initial days. This is caused due to the water loss in the lean tissue. It is very important that you take a balanced diet while losing weight, even if you’re consuming protein shakes. High-protein shakes when replaced by fresh fruits and vegetables can make your body devoid of essential minerals and vitamins. These protein shakes are a great way to add extra protein to your diet. But keep in mind that excess of protein shakes will add up to the total calories.

Protein shakes reduce appetite 
If you consume protein shakes regularly, you’ll notice that these shakes tend to decrease your appetite. It is basically done in 2 ways –
  1. These shakes increase the level of appetite reducing hormones (GLP-1, PYY and CCK) and reduce the level of hunger hormones (Ghrelin 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
  2. Protein makes you feel full for longer. When you feel full, you tend to eat less.
Both these methods help in weight loss in direct or indirect ways. If you’re trying to lose weight, it is recommended that 20g per shake is sufficient to reduce hunger.
A study was conducted and the results showed that participants who have high-protein breakfast tend to consume up to 135 fewer calories in the latter part of the day.
In another study, it was concluded that increasing the protein intake from 15% to 30% of total calories helped participants consume 441 fewer calories per day without deliberately trying to reduce the portions of meals.
Two Shakes a Day Diet Plan 
If you’re planning to lose weight, then the two shakes a day diet plan can be beneficial for you. Here’s how it works.
  1. Drink 2 high-protein, low-carb shakes in a day.
  2. Give your shakes a boost of health with added veggies and fruits.
  3. In addition to these shakes, you can have 3 small meals (snacks) in a day to keep your calorie count to 500 less per day than your break-even calories.
  4. This will help you lose about one pound in a week. Don’t forget to exercise at least three times a week for added benefit.

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Protein shakes help increase metabolism 
A faster metabolism is something we all dream of, especially when trying to lose weight. Higher protein intake may give your metabolism a boost which would help you burn more calories per day.

So how does it work? 
When you take a high-protein diet and it is combined with strength training, it helps you build muscles. This helps you burn more calories because muscle always burns more calories than fat. Protein can also increase metabolism because a lot of energy is needed to digest and metabolize it. This phenomenon is popularly known as Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). One should remember that the ability to gain muscle during weight loss diet depends upon a number of muscles you already have. When you are on a weight loss diet, there are chances that you lose muscle which can ultimately cause slowing of your metabolism. This makes it easier to regain all the lost weight. The solution to this is an intake of high-protein shakes combined with core strength training.

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Protein shakes for weight loss
Research shows that high-protein shakes help you reduce more fat, especially around the belly area. Protein shakes is an easy way to increase your daily protein intake, which can help boost fat loss.
Once you have lost weight, it is essential to maintain that weight. A lot of times it is seen that even after a strict workout the person tends to regain the lost weight. Protein shakes may help prevent weight regain after weight loss. Protein’s effect on appetite, muscle building, and metabolism is the secret to you maintaining the weight even after losing it. Various studies have validated this theory.
  • A group on high protein diet regained only 9% of the lost weight, whereas the group on low protein diet regained 23% of the lost weight.
  • Participants who were given supplements felt full even after meals and regained 50% less weight 6 months later, as compared to those who weren’t given supplements.

Deciding what type of protein is best for you and how much should be taken works best when you consult a certified nutritionist. Trust an expert’s advice and you’ll be on the right track. It is also recommended that, in the case of any ongoing medical condition, you should consult your doctor before taking any form of protein shakes.