Do you feel losing that excess weight feels like an uphill struggle what with the seemingly endless dieting, and then finding the time in your busy life for good quality exercise? Well I know how you feel, but now, after years of trying every different diet under the sun, I have finally found THE best way of staying slim for life. Hurrah!
A high protein diet, which is what I have turned to lately to help me stay slim, is one of the key elements in burning fat, and I’m talking specifically the highly dangerous stomach fat that increases your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. In this post I will show you exactly when, why and how to use protein powder for weight loss, and also the best protein powder to use for the job in hand.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP WITHIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT RANGE:-
Keeping your BMI within a healthy range is not only crucial for long term health and the prevention of many diseases, but also for your energy and vitality levels. And there are SO many other good reasons for keeping excess weight off that many people know nothing about – these include:-
- CONFIDENCE – Whilst some people are confident no matter what their size most are not, so slimming down can literally change your whole life for just this reason alone.
- A HEALTHY HEART – Taking the strain off your heart by losing weight will lead to decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
- DECREASED RISK OF CANCER – Being slim decreases your risk of cancer because obesity causes inflammation and DNA damage, both of which are a big risk factor for the big C.
- DEEPER SLEEP – Eating high GI junk food hinders sleep due to blood sugar fluctuations. A low GI healthy diet keeps blood sugar stable as well as promoting weight loss.
- REDUCED RISK OF DIABETES – Eating less junk foods, plus being in a healthy weight range slashes your risk of diabetes.
- LESS JOINT PAIN – Less inflammation and less weight on joints in general leads to a huge alleviation of joint and back problems.
- LOWER STRESS LEVELS – Slimmer people generally eat more antioxidant rich foods and less refined sugars. Fluctuating blood sugar from a junk food diet leads to mood swings, much higher stress levels, and an inability to cope in stressful life situations.
- LESSENING OF ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES – Being overweight puts a strain on both your respiratory system and adrenals, therefore making allergies much more likely OR worse than before.
- HIGHER SEX DRIVE – The process of your body torching fat raises testosterone levels, which in turn boosts sex drive in both men and women.
- STRONGER IMMUNITY – This naturally comes with the eating of less junk and the intake of more healthful fruits and vegetables – all of which are laden with immune boosting antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- BETTER MEMORY – High fructose and sugar laden foods may disrupt the creation of neural pathways in the brain associated with memory. Losing the excess pounds and the eating of healthful foods will both help to clear brain fog.
- LESS SWEATY – Being overweight means your body has to work harder just to move about and function properly, this leads to more sweat being produced by the body as it tries to compensate.
- CLEARER COMPLEXION – Eating less junk and more veggies will do wonders for your complexion, especially when combined with the powerful and anti aging antioxidants of green superfood powders.
- MORE ENERGY – Being over weight saps your energy like crazy as just the mere effort of hauling around those excess pounds tires you out more quickly. You will notice a remarkable difference in your energy levels with e very pound you lose.
- IMPROVED MOOD – Due to having more energy for exercise which in itself releases those feel-good endorphins.
- EASIER BREATHING – Being slim will improve your oxygen efficiency, which means you won’t get so out of breath doing every day activities such as running for the bus or climbing a flight of stairs.
- YOU’LL SNORE LESS – Sleep apnea and snoring are both a lot worse in obese people.
- GREAT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY- Often you will find, when you turn to a healthy eating regime, that your whole family will want a piece of the action when they see how well you look and feel. Also, you can test out your new healthy recipes on them.
- YOU WILL LIVE LONGER – Obesity can lower your life expectancy by an average of 14 years, so if that’s not enough to make you want to fight the flab then I don’t know what is.
HOW PROTEIN WORKS:-
A high protein diet works in the simple way of helping you to burn fat whilst still maintaining, or building lean muscle mass. On a general calorie restricted diet your body doesn’t just burn fat but lean muscle tissue as well. This is bad because you need muscle on your body to help burn calories even when you’re resting: muscle actually needs more calories than fat just to maintain itself, and that is how having high muscle mass contributes to keeping you slim.
You don’t need to beef up too much to get this effect, you just need some nice toned muscle in all the places it should be. After all, this kind of muscle looks good on everybody as it makes you look healthy and fit. Plus there are so many other benefits to having optimal amounts of muscle mass that have nothing to do with aesthetics. These include:-
- A longer life in general
- Weight managment
- Increased calorie burn
- Less risk of injuries from accidents
- Better mood
- Stronger mind
- Deeper sleep
- Strong immune system
- Balanced hormones
- Higher sex drive
- Better ability to cope with stress
- Stronger bones
- Better memory and brain health in general
- More energy
- A much decreased risk of ANY chronic disease
As you can see, the reasons to keep both slim AND physically fit are many, and they go hand in hand to help give you the sickness free and long life you deserve.
Eating a healthy plant based diet is a good place to start on your journey to greater health, and making sure you get at least 7-10 portions of antioxidant rich foods such as colourful fruits and veggies will ensure you get all the nutrients you need to stay in shape, plus give you zest and vitality.
How To Use Protein Powder For Weight Loss
Eating a high protein diet promotes weight loss mainly due to the fact that protein fills you up, leaving less room for junk foods, also it is low GI (meaning it won’t cause an insulin spike) and promotes the burning of fat instead of lean muscle tissue.
For an even higher fat burn you should combine your protein powder with a mix of weight bearing and cardio exercises at least 3 times a week. In fact, this is highly recommended if you are taking a protein supplement for maximum results.
There are specific fat burning exercises you can do to really get your body into fat torching mode, and they combine resistance training with some cardiovascular exercise. Things like weight lifting (not as scary as it sounds and also a great fat burner), HITT training, swimming and boxercise are among the best I know.
And for toning belly fat you can’t beat buying a simple weighted hula hoop that you can easily use at home or in the back garden. This one really works!
WHICH TYPE OF PROTEIN TO USE?
Firstly, you should be sure to buy a good quality protein powder. There has never been a time when there are just so many different types of proteins to choose from, and the formulations available on the market today truly are fantastic. Some of them have added nutrients, green superfood powders, digestive enzymes, and even probiotic’s.
Some of the best protein powders are plant based:-
Plant based protein powder’s are very popular at the moment, and for good reason. Plant proteins are cleaner, cause less inflammation than animal proteins, and are perfect for those with dairy intolerances. Some of them aren’t ‘complete proteins’, but many are very close, and it’s easy to make up for this fact when you know how to combine them correctly – or simply buy a ready-made blend.
If you would like to buy a straight up protein powder alone, such as pea, rice, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, quinoa or potato for example, then you may need to buy a couple and alternate or mix them together, OR my particular choice would be one of the blends. Blends are formulated to contain a full spectrum of amino acids, which is something you may not get with all of the single powders.
The best protein powders for weight loss:-
The blends are great in terms of weight loss, especially as they can double up as super low calorie meal replacements. Choose one that contains a full amino acid profile plus greens and digestive enzymes for the best results. This will help you be sure to get lots of nutrients like you would if you had had a meal, and some of these powders are specifically designed for actual weight loss purposes which makes it even easier.
If you’re in training, or doing lots of exercise then you can afford to take extra protein on top of your meals and healthy snacks. Some of them are even specifically designed to replace nutrients lost during intense workouts, or you could also look for a specifically designed powder for muscle gain if you want to boost your muscle mass.
You can see now why it’s well worth the effort of looking into which type of powder will work for your specific needs. To make this easy for you I have already reviewed and devised a list of the Best Protein Powder’s of 2018 if you’d like to check it out.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE
If you’re on a plant based, or vegan diet then you will find it harder to reach your protein needs (especially when exercising regularly). Being a plant based eater myself for the past 18 months I have learnt in that I do actually need a protein supplement otherwise I start losing muscle mass. However, I think the fact that I do a lot of exercise has something to do with this, but my point is you have to be sure you are reaching your requirements.
For weight loss purposes, or if you’re in training then you should aim for up to 1.5 – 2 grams per 1 kg of body weight. Most protein powders will come in between 15 -30 grams of protein per portion, so this will give you some guide.
You should use protein powder alongside other low carbohydrate foods. Keeping yourself full on high protein, low carb foods is the key to weight loss. You should also make sure you are incorporating LOTS of antioxidant rich foods too to keep your body alkaline and in fat burning mode.
BEST TIME TO CONSUME YOUR PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS:-
For quicker weight loss, you can use a protein blend with added greens and other nutrients as a meal replacement in itself. You may want to blend it with a banana for added bulk and to make it more filling and it will still come in low calorie; you could do this for 2 of your daily meals (be sure to have some low GI snacks in between if you need to).
Make sure you have at least one proper meal too or you will soon get bored, plus you need the satiety aspect of chewing on some real food.
Keeping the body in fat burning mode:-
When you sleep at night your body goes into a repair and fat burning state, but only if you haven’t eaten too many carbohydrates the evening before and instead stuck to high protein meals instead. Carbs cause an insulin response, and if there’s still too much insulin in your system when you go to be bed then your body will be in fat storage mode rather than fat burning – obviously bad for the waist line! Eat your carbohydrate meals at breakfast and lunch, and have a low carb dinner in the evening.
Keep off carbs in the morning!
Alternatively, the morning is a great time to take advantage of keeping the fat burning state going from after your nights sleep by having just a pure protein weight loss shake for breakfast with half an avocado (no banana), and NO CARBS until lunch. This means you will get a good 16-17 hours of your body being in super fat burning mode without you even going hungry.
This works really well, and you are still feeding your body nutritious food without getting the usual fat storing insulin spike that you get from refined carbohydrates. And the best part of all – it’s healthy and you don’t ever have to go hungry, or do any dangerous starvation diets!
If you just want to stick with your regular diet then you can still use a small scoop of protein (equivalent of about 15 grams) as an in-between snack instead of your usual high carb snacks.
Doing this will fill you up for a lot longer and for fewer calories as any other snack, plus you won’t get that fat storing insulin spike as your blood sugar will remain much more stable – thus helping your body to burn fat more efficiently and bring you closer to that toned body you’ve always wanted.