Did you know that protein powder and weight loss go hand in hand? Yep, they sure do, if you know how to use it correctly. Adding more protein your diet, whilst lowering your carbohydrate intake, will automatically help you to burn excess fat whilst still keeping you full and satiated, and with less sugar cravings.
In this post I will show you how to add protein powder into your diet it your diet, when to take it, the best protein to buy, and how it all works to give you that fat burning edge. All of these things make a difference as to how effective this method of losing weight will be, and if you do it in the right way then you will be rocking that nicely toned body in no time.
Burning fat is all about muscle maintenance
To keep body fat low, you need to keep muscle mass high – but I’m not saying you need to bulk up, just keep yourself nicely toned and you will see results. This is because muscle mass keeps your body in calorie torching mode more than anything else you can do; the more you have, the more you burn – it’s as simple as that.
This is where protein comes in as it is the building block of muscle and if you don’t get enough through your diet then your muscle mass will suffer. For maintenance sake after you have built a toned body, then usually eating a healthy diet full of proteins from different sources will probably give you what your body needs. But if you’re weight training, are eating a vegan or plant based diet, or would like to lose weight and cut fat then you may need to obtain more amino acids through a good quality protein supplement.
Getting more protein into your diet:-
The simplest and easiest way to get extra protein into your diet without too many extra calories (which defeats the object), is through a good quality protein powder. There are so many awesome products on the market right now that it makes the mind boggle, but this is also a great thing as many have been blended to contain a complete amino acid profile – which is something that is vital in the building of muscle.
Another benefits of the protein blends is many have added nutrients, green superfood powders, probiotics and enzymes, all of which help aid absorption of the amino acids and other nutrients. After all, you are what you absorb not what you eat, and if you eat foods with low bio-availability you could very well be wasting your and money.
Protein Powder and Weight Loss – Why it Works!
1. PROTEIN DECREASES HUNGER
Protein helps to lower your hunger hormone ghrelin, and when this little blighter gets out of control it makes you want to snack even when you know you don’t really need to eat. Eating a high protein diet can help suppress this hormone and STOP those sugar cravings that are notorious for making you gain dangerous belly fat specifically.
Other ways to lower the hunger hormone ghrelin:-
- Eating regularly to keep blood sugar stable
- Eating a high fiber diet
- Getting at least 7 hours sleep a night
- Eating omega 3 rich foods, OR omega 3 supplements
- Avoid MSG
- Avoiding fructose (as in the fructose used as a sugar in foods and fruit juices – ‘whole’ fruits are fine)
Respected studies cited that increasing protein intake and lowering fat will help keep your body in a thermogenic state, and therefore in fat burning mode, burning an extra 100 calories a day. These results were seen without reducing actual portion sizes, but just swapping high GI foods and snacks for high protein ones instead. And that’s not to mention the fact that protein keeps you fuller for longer, so you will also be consuming less calories over all which will boost weight loss even further.
2. INCREASED METABOLISM
A high protein diet will help keep your metabolism boosting muscle mass high, and if you actively engage in exercise or activities that help to build muscle, then these effects will be higher still. Regular exercise is an integral part of long term fat loss and crucial for a healthy body and mind; plus added protection from degenerative deseases goes with the territory.
Bottom line:- make sure you take regular muscle building exercise, such as resistance training, HITT, power walking, swimming or whatever else you enjoy. Just be sure make it a habit and you will keep your muscle mass and fat burning abilities going at full steam ahead.
If you’re actively dieting by cutting down on excess calories and fat then extra protein can up muscle mass maintenance by up to 3.5 times.
Often when you go on a diet (especially when you’re not doing a proper exercise program alongside it) you will find that your body, rather annoyingly, will shed muscle before fat. This is because the body prefers to burn lean muscle mass for fuel when your calorie intake is low – like when you’re on a calorie restricted diet. Obviously this is the last thing you want: you need to keep as much muscle as possible on your body for its fat burning effects, and also to stop you looking flabby.
Keeping muscle mass on your body frame is another good reason to keep your protein intake high, and a clean plant based protein powder is perfect for this job.
4. PROTEIN KEEPS YOU FULL AND SATIATED
Keeping yourself satiated is another vital aspect of weight loss, for obvious reasons. For starters, you will produce more leptin, which is a hormone your body releases to tell you you’ve had enough to eat (and is the opposite of the hunger hormone ghrelin). This will ultimately lead to eating fewer calories in one sitting, AND make you less likely to snack between meals.
5. PROTEIN IS LOW GI
GI, or glycemic index as it’s otherwise known, is the rate in which the carbohydrates/sugars in a food take to be broken down and be used for energy – or stored as fat as the case may be. The higher the GI, the faster these sugars hit the bloodstream, which is a bad thing in most situations (but different during or after intense training when the muscles need to be refueled quickly) because it promotes fat storage, and unfortunately it’s the dangerous belly fat kind too.
Eating a low GI diet is not only crucial to weight loss and weight maintenance, but it also lowers your chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers. Protein contains virtually NO carbohydrates at all, and is the very reason why a high protein diet will boost your weight loss efforts.
FYI – Many protein powders contain very little carbs, making them the perfect filling fat burning snack or meal replacement.
What are the Best Times to take Protein Powder?
- AFTER A WORKOUT – To aid with muscle repair and growth.
- BEFORE A MEAL – To up the protein amount of the whole meal, AND to stop you from over-eating. If you do this you can give yourself a much smaller serving of carbs with your meal and still feel completely satiated and fuller for longer.
- AS A BREAKFAST – Taking just protein at breakfast (with as close to zero carbs as possible) will keep your body carrying on in fat burning mode after your whole night of fasting.
- BEFORE BED – If you need a snack before bed, then a protein shake is just the ticket as it will help with muscle repair and growth overnight; but I wouldn’t do this with protein powders that have added greens as they can be stimulating.
Eating specific fat burning foods and metabolism boosting drinks alongside a high protein diet will help you torch that unwanted fat even faster. If you make these a part of your daily habits for life then you hopefully won’t ever need to worry about your weight again, and more importantly you can keep that dangerous, disease causing belly fat to a minimum.
Finding the best protein powder to suit your needs:-
You should always check whether a protein powder is suitable for your needs to get the most out of it. I always go for a plant based blend because it’s cleaner, and you don’t get the potential side effects of dairy such as bloating and inflammation.
You will find some of them are specific to dieters and may have a high fiber, low carb content; whilst others are better if you do lots of physical exercise, so may contain carbs to help fuel muscles too. You can also get protein powders that will help you gain weight, or some that act as a meal replacement with added vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
This post ‘Best Protein Powder Reviews 2019’ is a thorough list of the highest quality protein powders and all their key features and benefits. Here you will find some of the best protein powders for weight loss specifically, and you will be able see at a glance which is best for you so you can pick accordingly.
Here is a quick YouTube video on how to use protein powder after you have have decided what you think will best suit you.
I hope this post has given you some insights on how to use protein powder correctly so you can lose the excess pounds easily and safely. If you have any questions on this topic then please pop them below. Thanks for stopping by!