One of the key components of any diet, especially those that are designed to promote weight loss, is to ensure that you are consuming enough protein. Protein is an important macronutrient for weight loss for several reasons.
How does Protein Help with Weight Loss?
Firstly, it is the most satiating nutrient. Satiation, the feeling of fullness we get after eating, is obviously important to keep hunger at bay, which can be a problem if we are restricting calories to lose weight.
Secondly, protein has the highest thermal effect of food (TEF) of all macronutrients, by some margin. TEF is the amount of energy it takes to digest, absorb and store a nutrient, and protein has a TEF of around 30%. This means that whenever we eat a meal that contains protein, around one third of the calories are going to be expended directly through these processes helping to boost our energy expenditure and support weight loss.
Thirdly, protein has a muscle sparing effect. Although creating a calorie deficit is important to lose weight, we want to promote fat loss, not muscle loss, and to do this we want to make sure we are eating enough protein to preserve muscle.
How Much Protein Should I Eat to Lose Weight?
Despite the benefits of protein, many people struggle to meet the recommended amounts for weight loss, between 1.6-3g per kg of bodyweight. For most people who are looking to lose weight and are taking part in regular exercise, then we probably want to be aiming for the upper end of the end of this range, consuming at least 2g per kg.
How Can I Hit My Daily Protein Goal & Still Lose Weight?
Although whole foods should make up the majority of your diet, to ensure you hit your calorie ‘budget’ protein shakes can be a very useful tool. Not only are protein drinks affordable, they are also highly convenient and ready in seconds.
The other main benefit of using protein shakes during weight loss phases is that they can help prevent against cravings by allowing something sweet in the diet, whilst still being of great overall benefit to promoting weight loss.
Though protein shakes come in many different shapes and sizes, if you’re looking to lose weight whilst hitting your protein macro, whey protein would be your best pick. Whey protein most commonly comes in a powder form, and is low in carbs and fat – perfect if you are trying to ‘save’ calories wherever you can.
What are the Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss?
For the ultimate whey protein weight loss shake, choose an isolate such as our Pure Whey Isolate™ 90 and Pure Whey Isolate™ 97. As the name ‘isolate’ suggests, the protein components in whey are isolated from the carbohydrates and fats. This means that, per serving, the protein content is higher than other protein powders whilst being lower in calories.
What Can I Add to my Shake to Aid Weight Loss?
Caffeine, green tea extract and green coffee extract are some of the most effective additions to weight loss shakes. These ingredients have been shown to transiently boost metabolism and help support weight loss by helping to suppress appetite, controlling hunger and making the process of dieting more manageable.
Though these three ingredients are all available as separate supplements, we’ve conveniently added them to our CUTTING EDGE™ Protein and Complete Diet Protein™ shakes. Both shakes also contain added fibre, which aids in controlling hunger, promotes feelings of fullness and helps to promote healthy digestion.
Other Uses for Protein Powder
Although diet and protein shakes are most commonly mixed with water, they can also be added to smoothies, mixed into oats, or used to add flavour to things like Greek yoghurt to add not only extra protein but also extra flavour to what might otherwise be bland foods. For ideas about how you can cook with protein powder, check out our easy to follow recipes on The Core™.
Take Home Message
As a general rule when looking to lose weight, we shouldn’t ‘drink our calories’ and aim to eat mostly whole foods as a majority of the diet to keep us fuller. However, many people fall short in reaching their daily protein requirements, so whey isolates and diet protein shakes can be an effective way to help meet these demands. Diet shakes also contain added ingredients that may help support weight loss by helping to keep you feeling fuller, suppressing your appetite and helping to support metabolism.