According to research supplementing your diet with a good quality protein powder can both increase your performance and lower the fat levels in your body.
New-age protein powders boost this effect with the addition of revolutionary ingredients for muscle recuperation, metabolism and supporting the nervous system – all of which are vital for weight loss.
If you want to add protein powder to your diet without reducing calories this will not help you lose substantial weight. The protein powder has to be incorporated as part of a low-calorie diet and paired with exercise to get noticeable weight-loss results.
What to Look Out For
Nutritional Physiologist, Rick Hay, states the following with regards to protein powder ingredients: ‘if you can’t pronounce it, then it’s unlikely to be good for you’.
Here is a list of six ingredients to look out for when using protein powder for weight loss:
Matcha Green Tea
The benefits of green tea are particularly well-researched. Studies have shown that drinking up to five cups of green tea a day can increase metabolism. Other advantages include improved cognitive responses and improved moods. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant.
Carnitine is another well-researched ingredient and plays a helpful role in metabolizing body fat. A systematic review of the role carnitine plays in weight loss was conducted in 2016 and showed that carnitine supplements will indeed lead to a systematic decrease in body mass.
Plant Based Proteins
These proteins are not metabolized as fast as some sugary carbs thus helping you feel fuller for longer between meals. Plant protein can also help subdue appetite more than meat protein does.
Be sure to look for a combination of plant proteins such as hemp, rice, pea and pumpkin seeds to guarantee that you acquire a healthy combination of essential fats and amino acids.
Glutamine is a muscle relaxant which benefits the nervous system and helps with anxiety. It is also vital to the natural healthy operation of the body’s immune system.
Inulin is a prebiotic fiber that is found in foods such as leeks, garlic, onions and asparagus. It aids the stimulation of healthy gut bacteria and has shown the potential in aiding diabetes, weight loss, constipation and more.
This plant-based sweetener does not contribute carbohydrates or calories to the diet and does not affect insulin response or blood glucose which makes it ideal for diabetics.
Research has proven that there is no buildup of stevia (or any byproduct of stevia) in the human body during metabolism which is great news for anyone wanting to lose weight.
Protein Powder Curbs Hunger
There are two ways in which protein can decrease hunger.
It firstly increases the levels of the appetite reducing hormones in the body while decreasing the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Secondly protein assists you in feeling full for longer which helps you eat less.
Keep in mind that although a protein shake is a convenient way to add extra protein to your diet too much can lead to an excess of calories being consumed. If you are aiming to lose weight 20g of protein powder per shake is sufficient to decrease your appetite.
Protein Powder Can Increase Metabolism
High protein consumption can boost your metabolism which will increase the number of calories your burn daily. The reasoning behind this is partially because a high protein diet, especially when paired with strength training, can help you to build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat.
It is important to note, however, that your ability to build muscle during a weight loss diet may be subject to the amount of muscle you already possess.
Protein also has the ability to increase the metabolism due to the amount of calories needed to digest and metabolize it. This process is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
Research has proven that high-protein diets can generally help you to lose more fat and in particular belly fat. Protein shakes are consequently a fitting way in which to increase your daily protein intake which can help boost stubborn fat loss in especially your mid-section.
Protein Powder Can Help Prevent Regaining Weight
The effect protein has on metabolism, appetite and muscle mass can also keep you from regaining the fat you have lost. A recent study reports that subjects who were given more protein lost more weight and maintained their weight loss better than those who received less protein.
It can be concluded that supplementary protein, whether from shakes or whole foods, can help reduce the amount of weight you regain after weight loss.
Precautions and Pitfalls
Remember that protein powder can hinder weight loss if you blend it into a high-calorie smoothie or shake. Most powders contain between 80 and 130 calories per serving so by adding yogurt, juice, honey, banana and other fruit your nourishing snack will end up containing more calories and sugar than some meals.
Combine the drink into dairy free milk or water when you use it as a snack. When using protein powder to replace a meal, add no more 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit and 1/2 cup of milk if you are using the protein powder as a meal replacement. This will aid in keeping the calories in check.
Take care to avoid protein powders that comprise of added carbohydrates, specifically in the form of sugar. Stick to natural flavors such as chocolate and berry as they usually don’t add to the calorie content of the protein powder.
If you are under medical supervision always remember to check with your medical practitioner beforehand whether adding protein powder to your diet is fine.