When they think about supplements for weight loss, most people think of fat burners or caffeine-containing pre-workout products. These supplements are definitely helpful. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of protein when it comes to shedding body fat while also maintaining (or even gaining) lean muscle mass.
Protein powder is another effective supplement that can help you to achieve your weight loss goals. The key is to make sure you’re using the right product and using it correctly. Read on to learn more about protein powder’s benefits and how you can get the most out of it while on your weight loss journey.
Benefits of Protein Powder for Weight Loss
A lot of people think of protein powder only as a tool for gaining muscle mass. It’s true that this is often its primary function, but protein powder can aid in weight loss, too.
The following are some of the top weight loss benefits protein powder has to offer:
One of the main ways in which protein powder can help you to lose weight is by decreasing your feelings of hunger.
When you’re in a dieting phase and are trying to lean out as much as possible, some hunger is going to be inevitable. You’re eating in a calorie deficit, after all. By adding supplemental protein to your daily stack, though, you can at least curb your appetite somewhat.
Protein is highly satiating. It keeps you feeling fuller longer than the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fat).
Protein has this effect because it increases the levels of hormones like GLP-1 (short for glucagon-like peptide 1), PYY (short for peptide YY), and CCK (short for cholecystokinin), all of which are known for appetite reduction. It also decreases levels of the hormone ghrelin, which causes feelings of hunger.
By incorporating a shake made with protein powder into your daily routine, you’ll also likely decrease the total number of calories you consume. If you can do this and not feel ravenous throughout the day (which is likely to lead to overeating later), you can achieve your weight loss goals faster.
Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
Supplementing with protein shakes can help you to maintain your lean muscle mass, too. In the case of beginners who are new to strength training, you might even find that you’re able to gain lean muscle while also losing body fat.
Adequate protein consumption is necessary if you want to avoid losing muscle, something that people often struggle with when they’re dieting. By upping your protein intake, you’ll minimize your risk of losing lean muscle mass and sacrificing all the strength gains you’ve been making in the gym.
Research shows that it’s much easier to maintain muscle when you’re taking in enough protein (and a protein shake is arguably the most convenient way to make sure that happens). One study even showed that a daily protein shake, drunk as part of a weight-loss diet, could make muscle maintenance up to 3.5 times more efficient.
If you’ve been pumping iron for months and have gained a lot of lean muscle, you likely don’t need convincing to add protein powder to your routine to avoid losing that hard-earned mass.
If you haven’t been working to put on muscle, though, you might be wondering what the big deal is about maintaining it. Does it really matter if you lose some muscle while dieting?
In short, the answer is yes. When you lose muscle mass, you lose strength, of course. You also may be more prone to injuries, fatigue, insulin resistance, and breathing problems.
Don’t forget, too, that losing muscle mass also slows down your metabolism. Basically, the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn during your workouts and at rest.
For those who are interested in losing weight and keeping it off, a fast metabolism will work in your favor. By adding protein powder to your routine, you can maintain your muscle mass and keep your metabolism working efficiently.
Reduced Weight Regain
Once they’ve lost weight, most people want to do whatever they can to avoid regaining it. Consuming adequate protein is one of the best ways to make sure this doesn’t happen.
The primary reason for this is, of course, related to your metabolism. If you consume enough protein, you’ll be less likely to lose muscle mass. This will help you to keep your metabolism working properly.
Protein’s effect on appetite plays a role here, too. If you diet for several months and then, after reaching your goal weight, go right back to eating the way you did before, there’s a good chance you’ll re-gain the weight you lost (and then some, in many cases).
Supplementing with protein powder can help you to keep your appetite in check. That way, you won’t overdo it and end up eating way above your body’s new maintenance calories.
Tips for Losing Weight with Protein Powder
Protein powder certainly has value as a weight loss supplement. The way you use it makes all the difference, though. Here are some tips that will help you to maximize your weight loss while adding protein powder to your supplement stack:
Choose the Right Protein Powder
To see the best results, start by choosing the best protein powder for weight loss.
There are tons of different products out there that you can choose from. However, most experts agree that whey protein powder, and specifically whey isolate protein powder, is the most effective option when weight loss is the goal.
What Is Whey?
Whey protein is the liquid that gets separated from milk during cheese production. It’s very satiating and contains very little lactose, so it’s good for those who are sensitive to dairy.
Many studies also show that it’s the most beneficial choice for those looking to lose weight and build muscle. This has to do, in part, with the fact that it’s absorbed faster than other types of protein, so it can get to the muscles sooner after consumption.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate is more heavily processed than regular whey protein. It contains at least 90 percent protein and very little fat or carbohydrates (if any at all) This makes it a more versatile choice that is easier to fit into your macronutrient split when dieting.
If possible, try to find a protein powder that contains additional fat-burning ingredients, such as L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine’s structure is similar to that of an amino acid, and it helps to convert body fat into energy.
Make Your Shake a Meal Replacement
Lots of people see great results when they add protein powder to a shake and drink it as a meal replacement. After your workout, instead of swinging through the drive-through, try whipping up a shake to replenish your muscles and speed up your recovery.
If you’re going to be drinking a protein shake as a meal replacement, be sure to add other ingredients that facilitate recovery. You might mix the protein powder with milk instead of water, for example, or add a frozen banana or frozen berries to make it more satiating, give it a flavor boost, and enhance its nutrient profile.
Keep Calories in Mind
Finally, when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s essential that you keep your calorie intake in check. Even if you’re eating healthy foods, it’s still possible to eat too much and end up gaining weight or seeing your progress stall.
As you’re adding additional ingredients to your shake, be mindful of your measurements and how many extra calories you’re putting in. It’s helpful to track your calorie and macronutrient intake, too. This helps you to ensure you’re getting enough of everything and aren’t overdoing it in one particular category.
Level Up Your Protein Shake Today
As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which protein powder can help with your weight loss efforts. This is especially true if you’re using a protein supplement that is specifically designed for weight loss.
ProSupps Whey Isolate protein powder is the perfect option for your post-workout shake or meal replacement. With 25g/.88 oz of whey protein per serving and the addition of L-Carnitine for increased fat-burning potential, it’ll help you to meet your fat loss goals while also making it easier for you to build lean muscle.
Check out ProSupps Whey Isolate today to experience the magic for yourself.