Did you know that protein powder and weight loss can go hand in hand? Yes, they sure can, if you know how to use your protein correctly and at the right times.
Adding more protein into your diet, whilst lowering your carbohydrate intake, will automatically help you to burn excess fat. All this, whilst still keeping you full and satiated with less sugar cravings.
In this post we will show you just how to add protein powder into your diet, when to add it, the best protein to buy and how it all comes together to give you that extra fat burning edge.
ALL of these things make a huge difference to how effective this method of losing weight will be. If you do this in the right way then you will be rocking that nicely toned body in no time.
Is taking protein powder good for weight loss?
To keep body fat low you need to keep muscle mass high because of its role in fat burning. We’re definitely not saying you need to bulk up like Arnie. 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 muscle mass you have, the more you burn, it’s as simple as that.
This is where protein comes in. Protein is the building block of muscle and if you don’t get enough amino acids through your diet then your muscle mass may suffer.
For maintenance sake (after you have built a toned body), you should find eating a healthy diet high in protein from various sources will give your body what it needs to stay looking buff.
But if you’re weight training, or would like to lose weight and cut fat then you may need to obtain more amino acids through a good quality protein supplement.
How to add 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 great products on the market that it makes the mind boggle, but this is actually a good thing.
Techniques have become more advanced than ever in the protein powder world. You can now find plant based blends that not only contain a complete amino acid profile, but also digestive enzymes, added nutrients, green superfood powders and even probiotics. All of which help aid absorption of the amino acids and other nutrients in the powder.
After all, you are what you absorb, not what you eat. If you eat foods with low bio-availability, you could very well be wasting your hard earned money.
How Protein Powder Aids Weight Loss
1. IT HELPS DECREASE HUNGER
Protein helps to lower your hunger hormone ghrelin. When ghrelin 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 ultimately reduce those sugar cravings that are notorious for making you gain dangerous belly fat that can do so much harm.
Other ways to lower the hunger hormone ghrelin
- Eating regularly to keep blood sugar stable
- Eating low GI foods
- Eating a high fibre diet
- Getting at least 7 hours sleep a night
- Eating omega 3 rich foods, OR taking omega 3 supplements
- Avoid MSG
- Avoiding fructose (we mean the fructose used as sugar in foods and fruit juices. Whole fruits are fine)
Respected studies cite that increasing protein intake, whilst lowering fat, can help keep your body in a thermogenic state. This means in fat burning mode, potentially burning an extra 100 calories a day.
These results were seen without reducing actual portion sizes, but instead swapping high GI foods and snacks for high protein ones. That’s not to mention the fact that protein keeps you fuller for longer, so you will also be consuming less calories over all and therefore boosting weight loss even further.
2. INCREASES METABOLISM
A high protein diet will help keep your metabolism boosting muscle mass high. 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, the added protection from certain degenerative diseases 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 easily keep your muscle mass and fat burning results
3. KEEPS MUSCLE MASS HIGH WHILST DIETING
If you’re actively dieting by cutting down on excess calories and fat, it means 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 will shed muscle before fat. This is because the body prefers to burn lean muscle tissue for fuel when your calorie intake is low as in when you’re on a calorie restricted diet.
This is the thing you want as 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. KEEPS YOU FULL
Keeping yourself satiated is another vital aspect of weight loss for obvious reasons. For starters, you will produce more leptin (a hormone your body releases to tell you you’ve had enough to eat, the opposite of the hunger hormone ghrelin). This will ultimately lead to eating fewer calories in one sitting, therefore making you less likely to snack between meals.
5. LOW GI
GI (or glycemic index as it’s otherwise known) is the rate in which the carbohydrates or sugars in a food take to be broken down and 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 (unless after intense training when the muscles need to be refuelled quickly) because it promotes fat storage. Unfortunately it’s the dangerous belly fat kind too!
Eating a low GI diet with low carbs foods is crucial to weight loss and weight maintenance. It will also lower your chances of certain diseases including metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes.
Pure protein contains virtually NO carbohydrates at all and is the very reason why a high protein diet will boost your weight loss efforts.
Important: 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 to stop you from over-eating. If you do this you can give yourself a much smaller serving of carbs with your food 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 in the protein powder) will keep your body carrying on in fat burning mode after your night of fasting right up until lunch.
- 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. Be careful not to do this with protein powders that have added greens as they can be stimulating.
Eating specific metabolism boosting foods, and drinking effective fat burning 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, you shouldn’t ever need worry about your weight again. More importantly you can keep that dangerous, potentially disease causing belly fat to a minimum.
What is the best protein powder to use?
You should always check whether a protein powder is suitable for your needs to get the most out of it. Always go for a plant based blend because it’s cleaner and you don’t get the potential side effects of dairy, including bloating and inflammation.
You will find some protein powders are specific for Dieters and therefore may have a high fibre, lower carb content. Whilst others are better if you do lots of physical exercise and may contain carbs to help fuel muscles. You can also get protein powders that will help you gain weight or act as a meal replacement with added vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Do your homework if you want to find something right for you.
For more information please check out the best protein powder reviews of 2022. This is a thoroughly reviewed list of the highest quality protein powders, along with all their key features and benefits. You will also find some of the best protein supplements for weight loss specifically and 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 your protein powder after you have have decided what you think will best suit you.
14 thoughts on “Protein Powder and Weight Loss – Here’s Exactly How it Works”
Great article Stefanie and very informative. As a former competitive strength athlete I can assure I have drank plenty of different types of protein powders over the years my favorite being whey based, as it was what my body preferred.
But now as I’ve hit the middle years the competitions and my 300lb hulking mass are long behind me but I still enjoy the training, but my body doesn’t seem to agree with whey based protein anymore. I do believe going plant based may be the way ahead for me.Great post and thanks for opening up an alternative source of protein to me.
Hey Danny, that’s really great you used to be a competitive strength athlete! I ģues you know your stuff when it comes to protein powder then? Haha.
The reason why a lot of people are turning to plant based protein now (especially athletes) is because so many people seem to have problems with whey. I’m pretty sure that dairy isn’t what it used to be and is full of homromones and whatever rubbish they put in animal food, so this may well be the problem.
A lot of people are still of the mind that you can’t get all your amino acids from plant proteins, but it is possible when you know what to take, or better still to take a blend that has already been worked out with everything you need.
I love plant based protein and have seen more improvements in my training since taking it, especially quicker recovery times. It really works!
You should check out the Facebook page ‘vegan body building’ and see how amazing some of those guys look on a plant based diet.
Wishing you all the best in your future training, and I hope you find a powder to suit your needs.
I am diabetic and trying to lose weight is a real challenge for me and having read your article, I now feel I have some really great ideas which will help me immensely
protein powder is one of them. I always considered this product as a sports person thing but now thanks to you, I know differently so thank you
Hi vicki, yes protein powder can be used as a great snack for diabetics as they are very low carb, and many are NO carb. Just make sure you choose one with no added sugar of course!
And they will also have the added bonus of helping to keep you blood sugar stable to help you lose weight and stop you snacking. Definitely an all round winner for somebody in your position.
I’m glad this post has given you something different to try in your weight loss efforts.
Another great post, and wow you really know how to lose weight while gaining muscle. I’ve always heard about getting more protein to help build muscle, and seen people on that kind of a diet, but I wasn’t really sure that it worked but there must be something to it. After reading your post I see how it is done and the way in which I can do it too. Thanks
Hi Fred, yep the high protein, low carb diet really is very healthy, especially for dieters and diabetics. High protein diets mean less room and less hunger for high carb foods, such as refined sugars, trans fats, and other junk foods, so it stands to reason it will make you healthier and leaner. Plus, keeping blood sugar stable (which is what happens on a high protein, low carb diet) really is the cornerstone to good health as too much sugar is associated with so many modern day diseases and illnesses that it boggles the mind.
I urge you to start a low sugar diet if you’re not already, for the sake of your future health. And yes, building stronger leaner muscle mass (especially with the addition of regular exercise – another crucial factor in disease prevention) alongside this will also be another of the great side effects. You’ve nothing to lose! Here’s another great article about carbohydrates if you’re interested.
Protein will definitely help you to lose weight – tried and succeeded, I lost most of my weight due to a high protein diet. I also take protein powders and the one here is new for me but I guess after reading your article it is worth to give it a try.
Hi Ronda, that’s great that you lost weight on a high protein diet. Proof it works! And yes you should definitely give some new ones a try as they all contain different nutrients and qualities and the body likes to be shaken up with changes once in a while, otherwise it gets to used to things. I mix my proteins up all the time and find they work better due to this; I often have 2-3 on the go and blend them up myself.
Great website! So much good and accurate information. I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Exercise Therapist and I will recommend this site to all my clients. The protein and weight loss article is excellent. While I could never give up meat and to this day i have not found a decent tasting protein powder, I still try and consume as many veggies and greens(love them) as i can. Thank you for helping people live a wealthier, heathier lifestyle.
Hi Mark, wow thanks for the compliment on my website! I do aim to teach people how to improve their diets the easy way, it’s really not as hard as people think. Eating a high protein diet has really worked well for me in keeping my weight down and I have found lots of great plant based protein powders over the last few years.
The blends are better and often have added natural flavourings etc to make them palatable OR if you blend them with some frozen banana slices of avocado and a spoonful of cacao powder then they taste just like a milkshake. You can really experiment and add what you like. Please read and I think you will change your mind about them ha ha.
That’s awesome you’re a personal trainer and nutritionist, there is so much call for this sort of thing now as people are beginning to realise more and more the benefits of health and fitness so I’m sure you will be very successful.
For me, protein is and has been a lifesaver. I’ve always strived to get at least 20-30 grams of protein in per meal, and have long used the Orgain plant-based powder since discovering it in 2016. Nothing comes close. I do feel my protein intake is somewhat low for the amount of exercise I do, so I’d love to get back into eating more protein as 2019 progresses.
Hi Todd, I will have to look into Orgain protein powder as you are such a fan. I’m always looking for great products to promote, especially when it comes to plant based protein.
I son’t know whether you are a vegan or plant based eater, but if you are AND you’re exercising a lot then I would pretty much presume you would need a protein supplement of some kind. All the better if you can get it into your meals, but sometimes it’s hard.
Good luck with your protein mission 🙂
Your website is great Stephanie! I am 90% plant based in my diet, the other 10% is seafood and about twice a year I eat chicken! High protein diets are really the way to go for weight loss and I use a vegan protein powder myself which is soy and chickpea based – my partner and I use the protein powders not just in smoothies but we also use them to make “nice cream” with blended frozen bananas and we mix them up with coconut oil and nuts and freeze to make a delicious healthy and high-protein snack! Will be sure to keep up on your latest posts
Ooh yum, I do something similar with nut milk and frozen banana and blueberry, but I have never though about using protein powder in them before. What a revelation! I literally can’t wait to try this for myself; I reckon it would be great with pumpkin protein as that tastes the best of all the proteins in my opinion.
That’s just fantastic that you are 90% plant based. You must be feeling the real benefits with your health by now as I am. I think seafood is pretty healthy, so I reckon you are enhancing the effect of your diet, I just don’t like it myself so I stay away.
Yes, protein powders are the way to go for weight loss. I have tried and tested this theory for myself and it works well, especially the low carb protein smoothie for breakfast.