How to use Protein Powder for Weight Loss EFFECTIVELY!

Do you feel losing that excess weight feels like an uphill struggle that involves seemingly endless dieting? And then there’s the issue of finding the time in your busy life for good quality exercise. I totally get it, but now after years of trying what seems like every different diet under the sun I have finally found a great way of helping myself to stay slim with much less effort. Hurrah!

Did you know a high protein diet is one of the key elements in burning fat? And I’m talking specifically about that 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 this very job.

Reasons why you should keep within a Healthy BMI

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 that’s just the tip of the iceberg as there are also so many other good reasons for keeping excess weight off that many people are unaware of: These include the following:-

  • CONFIDENCE – Whilst some people are confident no matter what their size, many are not. Therefore slimming down to feel good about yourself can change your whole life for this reason alone. You may feel more inclined to go out and meet new people, start a new relationship, or even go for the job of your dreams. There are so many opportunities that open up for you when you gain a little more confidence, and for some this can all be about weight.
  • A HEALTHY HEART – Taking the strain off your heart by losing weight may lead to decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. The World Heart Federation says that over-weight folks are more likely to develop the diseases that are potential risk factors to cardiovascular disease.
  • DEEPER SLEEP – Eating high GI junk food can hinder sleep due to blood sugar fluctuations. A low GI diet helps keep 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 an alleviation of joint and back problems.
  • LOWER STRESS LEVELS – Slimmer people generally eat more antioxidant rich foods and less refined sugars, which ultimately  means their bodies are able to cope with the effects of stress better. This is because fluctuating blood sugar from a junk food diet can lead to mood swings, much higher stress levels and an inability to cope in stressful life situations.
  • LESSENING OF ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES – Studies show time and time again that being overweight puts a strain on both your respiratory system and adrenals, therefore making allergies much more likely OR even 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 the neural pathways in the brain that are associated with memory. Losing the excess pounds  along with the eating of healthful foods, are both ways to help clear the brain fog that can mess with your head.
  • LESS SWEATY – Being overweight means your body has to work harder just to move about and function properly, which leads to more sweat being produced by the body as it tries to compensate and thus leading you to become a bit of a sweaty Betty.
  • CLEARER COMPLEXION – Eating less junk and more veggies will do wonders for your complexion, especially when combined with other powerful anti aging antioxidants and natural superfood powders.
  • MORE ENERGY – Being overweight saps your energy like crazy, as just the mere effort of hauling around those excess pounds tires you out quickly. You will notice a remarkable difference in your energy levels with every pound you lose, and even just a couple of pounds can make a difference to this depending on your weight to begin with.
  • IMPROVED MOOD – due to having more energy for exercise, which in itself releases those feel-good endorphins that make you feel alive.
  • EASIER BREATHING – Being slim will improve your oxygen efficiency, which means you won’t get so out of breath doing those 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, your whole family will want a piece of the action, especially when they start to see how well you look and feel. This is good of course, simply because it means you have willing guinea pigs that you can test out your new healthy recipes on… LOL.
  • YOU WILL LIVE LONGER – Obesity could potentially lower your life expectancy by 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 in the body

woman flexing biceps

A high protein diet works is the simple way of helping the body 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. Did you know, muscle actually needs more calories than fat just to maintain itself, and is one of the reasons having high muscle mass on your frame 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 muscle should be. After all, this kind of muscle looks good on EVERYBODY, as it makes you look healthy and fit; not to mention the fact that 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 management
  • 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 diet high in plant foods 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 per day will ensure you get all the nutrients you need to stay in shape and give you zest and vitality.

Protein powder and weight loss

plant based protein powder

Eating a high protein diet promotes weight loss mainly due to the fact that protein fills you up and leaves less room for junk foods. It is also low GI (meaning it won’t cause the high insulin spike that can consequently lead to fat being laid down) and helps fastens up the metabolism, thus promoting 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 the maximum results you are looking for, because you need to put tension on the muscles in order for them to grow stronger.

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 a great fat burner), HITT training, swimming and boxercise are among the best I know.

And for toning your stomach, you can’t beat buying a simple weighted hula hoop that you can easily use at home or in the back garden – this really works for toning abdominal muscles specifically!

Which type of protein should I use?

Firstly, you should be sure to buy a good quality protein powder if you want maximum results fast. Fortunately, there has never been a time when there are so many different types of protein powders to choose from, and the formulations available on the market today are truly fantastic. Yes, it’s exiting times in the protein world because some are so advanced they have added nutrients, green superfood powders, digestive enzymes and even probiotics, making them nutritious enough to even be an actual meal replacement in themselves.

The best plant based protein powders 

packets of protein powder

Plant based protein powders are very popular at the moment, and for good reason. Plant proteins are cleaner, cause less inflammation than animal proteins, and are also 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 either combine them correctly, or you can 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 them 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 some of the single powders. It also makes things much easier as it takes the stress out of not knowing what to blend with what.

Plant based protein powders with good amino acid profiles:-

  • HEMP
  • QUINOA
  • PUMPKIN
  • BROWN RICE
  • POTATO
  • SOY

The blends are great in terms of weight loss, especially as they can double up as low calorie meal replacements. Choose one that contains a full spectrum of amino acids, plus greens and digestive enzymes, for the best results. This will help you to be sure you’re getting a full array of nutrients like you would if you ate a healthy, whole meal. Also, some of these amazing powders are specifically designed for actual weight loss purposes, making it even easier for you.

If you’re in training, or doing lots of exercise, then you can afford to take extra protein as well as your usual meals and healthy snacks. Some of them are even specially designed to replace the nutrients lost during intense workouts; and some are designed for muscle gain if you wish to boost your muscle mass.

You can see why it’s well worth the effort of looking into which type of powder will work for your specific needs. To make this easier for you I have already done the hard work scoured hundreds of reviews to devised a list of  Amazon’s highest reviewed Powders of 2019, so you will know you are getting a quality product if you choose one of these.

How much protein powder should I take?

green smoothies

If you’re on a plant basedor 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 2 years has taught me that I do actually need a protein supplement or I start to lose muscle mass. 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 of ALL plant based macronutrients, not just protein.

For either weight loss or training purposes you should aim for up to 1.5 – 2 grams per 1 kg of body weight. To give you some guide, most protein powders will come in at between 15 -30 grams of protein per portion. You should also use protein powder alongside other low carbohydrate foods for faster weight loss.

Best time to Consume Protein Powder

For quicker weight loss, you should use a protein blend with added greens and other nutrients as a meal replacement in itself. You may want to blend with a banana for added bulk and to make it more filling, whilst still keeping calories down. You could safely use this for up 2 of your daily meals (be sure to have some low GI snacks in between if you need to), but make sure you have at least one proper meal each day or you will soon get bored – plus, you will need the satiety aspect of chewing on some real food.

Keep your Body in Fat Burning Mode During Sleep

girl asleep on bed

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.

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 mode, which is obviously bad for the waistline! Eat your carbohydrate meals at breakfast and lunch, then have a low carb dinner in the evening.

Low Carb diet and Weight Loss

Alternatively, the morning is a great time to take advantage of keeping the fat burning state going from after your night’s sleep. By having just a pure protein weight loss shake for breakfast, blended with half an avocado (no banana) and NO CARBS until lunch means you will get a good 16-17 hours (including from your night’s sleep) of your body being in accelerated fat burning mode – all without you even going hungry!

This works really well, and you can rest assured 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 is it’s healthy, and you don’t ever have to go hungry or do any dangerous starvation diets.

High protein snacks

whole raw almonds

If you just would like 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, than any other snack as ultimately you won’t get that fat storing insulin spike.

You can also snack on these other high protein foods instead of your usual high carb snacks – these will help keep your blood sugar stable and weight under control. Remember, try not to make snacks a habit, rather just to be eaten when you are genuinely hungry. It’s ok and natural to feel some hunger pangs between meals.

  • Celery sticks and sugar-free peanut butter
  • Oatcake and tahini
  • Handful of raw nuts or seeds
  • Lightly fried tofu pieces
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Homemade protein balls or bars

CONCLUSION

As you can see, protein powder can have its place in weight loss, but only when used correctly and with other dietary changes and exercise. If you don’t make an effort to take control of everything else then you may be disappointed with this advice.

Ultimately, YOU need to take control of your health and well-being by changing unhealthy habits for life, and not just for the short term, and that is something I always drive home on this blog.

Why not start your clean eating journey today with this with free one week whole food plan which can help boost your energy, weight loss, and give you an amazing to-die-for complexion that all your friends will be envious of 🙂

Thank you for reading and your support of zestforever.com. If you have anything you would like to contribute to this post, or any questions you need answering then I would be happy to help. Please let me know in the comments section and I will reply as soon as I can. 

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Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2019; not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving. I have lived this healthful lifestyle for over 2 years, which is the reason why zestforever was born to share my experiences, trials and errors, how I overcame them, and how to turn to this lifestyle in such a way that you will thrive too.

I have studied, tried and tested healthy foods, superfoods and diets for over 25 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz of wellness that plant based eating has. To expand my knowledge further I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor - all of which can tie in with the plant based diet.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant as a way of showing you how to boost your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

I am grateful for your support, and I hope that the tips and guides you find here will help to guide you on your own plant based journey.

12 thoughts on “How to use Protein Powder for Weight Loss EFFECTIVELY!”

  1. Hi there Stefanie, fine article here. I must ask though, is there a link on how to make the actual protein weight loss shake instead of just the link to ingredients? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Evan, actually that’s great you pointed that out as I never actually thought about doing that. I am going to go in and write a section about how to do it. Basically, I would just use my blender and add protein powder, water or nut milk, and maybe a banana or some other fruit (even avocado is good if you really want it to be filling), and just whizz. I do find that frozen fruit works great as it gives it an ice-cream texture.

      Reply
  2. Hello there Stefanie! Great article you have here. It’s great that you’re talking about plant based proteins as many people have questions about them these days. I occasionally would take a plant based one because sometimes whey makes me bloated. I normally take a protein shake early in the mornings because i’m always in a rush and can’t get breakfast in. I always find myself getting hungry before I can get to my next meal, is there something you would suggest for that?

    Reply
    • Hi Huy,
      Yes I agree, plant based proteins are definitely better for stopping the bloating, which is why I am now an avid fan of them myself.

      As for getting hungry so quickly; I think the problem may be that because you are having a shake for breakfast instead of an actual meal your body is processing the food way too quickly. Don’t forget when you blend things up the blender is doing all the hard work of breaking the food down so your body doesn’t have to, therefore you are hungry again too soon. This is good in some cases when you want to get nutrition in quickly.

      A straight protein powder is great for a snack as it’s low GI so won’t mess with your blood sugar, but it also won’t be too long until your next meal if it is just a snack. If you are going to use a protein shake as a meal replacement then I suggest you add half an avocado as the healthy fats in this will really help to keep you full. You could even add a handfull of seeds or something similar, as long as it has the fats. This also makes it a much more rounded meal.

      If you are still getting hungry between meals after doing all of that then I think maybe your blood sugars may be a bit out of whack so you may find cutting down, or completely out, all kinds of refined sugars (this includes even so called ‘healthy sugars’ such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup. They are all free sugars as they have been extracted from their whole form and are high GI. Hope that has been of some help!

      Reply
  3. Hi Stefanie!
    I enjoyed reading your article. Regarding your article, I would like to add the following …

    Sport has been a big part of my life since my childhood (I still don’t know why I don’t write about it yet). Now I am much older and still doing sport. Coaching tennis and playing it myself as well. Sometimes riding the bicycle, going to swim and to the gym.
    Because of the fact that I am 57 now and a bit overweighted (approx, 7-8 kg more as I need, 181 cm of hight and 94 kg in weight, I would like to have 87-88 kg) I know the importance of the good, or better said proper body shape.

    In your article, you mentioned many relevant and important facts about problems connected with being overweight.

    I can only confirm that being overweight can lead to back and spine problems (experiencing myself as well). Being overweight is like carrying a barrel around your body on a daily basis! Overnight as well, of course. It means you are carrying additional unnecessary weight around your body all the time, what puts a lot of pressure on your body and makes your living harder.

    Accumulated unnecessary calories transform in our bodies into fat. Thus, intake-outtake of calories process on a daily basis is a very important “tool” for controlling weight and your overall health.

    Thanks a lot for your great post. I will bookmark it and print it out.

    Keep up the good work!
    Best regards

    Reply
    • Hi Igor, I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. It’s great you are still into so many sports as I believe it is something we need to keep up our whole lives. In fact, it is even more crucial as we get older if anything! Lots of people don’t understand this and think they are too old for sport/competitive sports.

      If you are having some problems with excess weight then you should try adding some extra protein shakes into your diet instead of carby snacks. This would be especially good for you considering you are into sports.

      Unfortunately, as we age it does get harder to shift unwanted pounds, due to hormones, thyroid slowing down, and many other factors. But it’s certainly not impossible; just takes a bit more effort, but so worth it in the long run. For more information on weight loss please refer to this post

      Reply
  4. Your article has taught me so much and it has helped me reinforced knowledge I’ve acquired in the past about nutrition and especially when it comes to the use of protein powder. I think it is a great way of losing weight. Thanks for such an insightful review.

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew, thanks, and yes a higher protein, lower carb diet will definitely kick start weight loss. If you are going to try it then good luck and I hope it works for you.

      Reply
  5. Another awesome article, Stafanie, Protein Powder may be the best way to go with weight loss and muscle growth. I have never used protein powder but I have relatives that use it and it works well for them in sustaining muscle mass. It also helps him in staying trim and lean. This along with a healthy diet and daily exercise. Thanks for your help understanding how protein powder helps with losing weight and keeping our body healthy.

    Reply
    • Hi Fred, yes a good protein powder is just great for anybody trying to trim fat and maintain muscle. Dieting is notorious for burning precious muscle instead of unwanted fat annoyingly. This can be negated by upping protein intake either through food or a supplement; and I definitely recommend a supplement to dieting vegans, or people who do lots of exercise, would even go so far as to say older people as they are losing muscle mass at a much faster rate.

      Reply
  6. I have always heard that eating your carbs in the morning is good for getting rid of fat. Obviously, you can’t eat junk food throughout the day. Eating good foods that help fuel your body is recommended.

    On the topic of eating a low carb breakfast what would be a good example for breakfast. I have done the Keto diet which is high good fats and protein. However, it did limit your carbs to about 40-60 a day which made me feel kind of irritable.

    Reply
    • Hi Garen, yes I don’t recommend the keto diet as it’s just too low carb and for me personally I found it triggered my depression and anxiety. However, some people swear by it so I guess we’re all different. When it comes carbs in the morning, then of course that’s fine (especially if you need a carb boost in the morning) but ONLY if they are good low GI carbs. There’s a big difference and high GI carbs will make you gain weight much more easily. Please check out this list .

      If you do’t have carbs just at breakfast then you are cutting your carb intake for the day and keeping your body fat burning after its night time fast. This tends to work great for keeping weight down in an easy way. You can still have your carbs for the rest of the day as long as they are healthy ones.

      For breakfast you could have a protein shake with half an avocado, or scrambled eggs, avocado, and spinach (that was my fave before I went vegan). Or if you do like some carbs in the morning I’d go for something like oatmeal with a scoop of protein and some nuts or seeds, or sourdough with sugar free peanut butter/ avocado. Just be sure to keep it very low in refined sugars. Hope that helps.

      Reply

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