Did you know that protein powder and weight loss can go hand in hand? Yep, they sure can, if you know how to use it correctly. Adding more protein into your diet, whilst lowering your carbohydrate intake, will automatically help you to burn excess fat whilst still keeping you full and satiated with less sugar cravings.
In this post I 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, and if you do it in the right way then you will be rocking that nicely toned body in no time.
The role of muscle in fat burning
To keep body fat low you need to keep muscle mass high; but I’m 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 you have the more you burn, it’s as simple as that.
This is where protein comes in, as it’s 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 should give your body what it needs to stay looking buff. 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.
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 awesome products on the market right now 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, therefore 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; and 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, 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 ultimately reduce those sugar cravings that are notorious for making you gain that 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 a high fiber diet
- Getting at least 7 hours sleep a night
- Eating omega 3 rich foods, OR taking omega 3 supplements
- Avoid MSG
- Avoiding fructose (as in 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, therefore in fat burning mode – meaning 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. 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 and therefore boosting weight loss even further.
2. INCREASES 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 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 abilities going at full steam ahead.
3. KEEPS MUSCLE MASS HIGH WHILST DIETING
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 tissue for fuel when your calorie intake is low, as in 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. KEEPS YOU FULL
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) which 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 (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, plus eating low carbs foods, is not only crucial to weight loss and weight maintenance, but it may also lower your chances of certain diseases. Pure 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 food and still feel completely satiated, and also 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 (but I wouldn’t 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 then you shouldn’t ever need worry about your weight again, and 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. 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 dieter’s, and therefore may have a more high fiber, low 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 even some that act as a meal replacement with added vitamins, minerals and enzymes. So, do your homework!
For more information please check out the best protein powder reviews of 2022 as it is a thorough 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.
I hope this post has given you some insights on how to use protein powder correctly, so you can finally begin to lose the excess pounds easily and safely.
If you have any questions on this topic, please pop them in the comments section and I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can.