Protein powder is a great weight loss tool and is also ideal for adding nutrition to your day if you are always on the go. This post tells you all you need to know about protein powder and weight loss.
Are you a fan of protein smoothies and shakes? Are you always running from place to place with the kids or during your work day?
Me, too! That’s one of the reasons I really like protein powder. I know that I can boost my nutrition intake when on the go, all the while keeping my weight loss goals on track.
Why don’t we dive right into this post on protein powder and weight loss?
I’ve got a lot to tell you!
What Is Protein Powder?
Protein powder is derived from one or more protein types. The protein is taken from the food source and then made into a dried and powdered protein concentration.
For those of you new to protein powder, I’ll fill you in a little more. Sources for the protein can come from plants (like peas, quinoa and hemp) or from animal sources like whey (comes from dairy) and eggs. So when looking at protein powders, you may see casein protein, whey protein, soy protein, egg protein, and pea protein as varieties on the market.
Protein powder is so good because it is hunger-reducing and satisfying, and no matter your dietary preferences (meat-lover, vegetarian or vegan) there is a protein out there that’ll work for you.
There are three basic protein powder types:
- Protein concentrate is created when protein is extracted from whole foods.
- Protein isolate includes additional filtering that removes fat and carbs, concentrating the protein.
- Protein hydrolysate is developed by breaking the bonds between amino acids and the body absorbs it quickly.
What Are The Benefits Of Protein Powder?
Several reasons stand out for taking protein powder.
- Protein helps you build muscle (studies show this is especially so when combined with resistance training)
- Protein is good for bone health
- Keeping on track with eating healthy is easier when you start the day with protein (try my breakfast sandwiches) and you can keep the protein going all day long by including protein powder.
- Protein is so much more satisfying than empty calories like those you get from processed foods.
How Much Protein Powder Do I Need?
No matter where you are in your journey to better health, 0.8 grams per kilogram of weight is the recommended amount of daily protein to aim for.
Let’s make that simple. If you are 150 pounds, you’ll need about 55 grams of protein per day. But because this number is for an individual who doesn’t move a whole lot, meaning your level of physical activity is minimal, you may want to add more if you are active.
If you are a person who loves to get their 10,000 steps in a day or who makes sure to workout regularly, your requirement may be 60 grams per day. If you’re older, the right amount of protein is essential to health also. According to a 2018 study, a diet adequate in protein is a must.
Protein is an essential macronutrient (along with fat and carbs). Getting enough of all 3 is important but don’t feel lost or confused when it comes to calculating these 3 essentials. I can help – I’ve written a post on counting macros and I simplify it. You can watch my video, too.
Is Protein Powder Good For Weight Loss?
Yes, taking protein powder regularly can help you lose weight.
The first thing I’m going to say is that to lose weight, you need to be in a hypocaloric state. This means you are aiming to be in a caloric deficit.
What’s a calorie deficit? It’s pretty simple in that you consume fewer calories than you expend. And when you are in this hypocaloric state, a higher protein intake is pretty beneficial.
Spread over the day, an aim to include 25-30 grams of protein per meal is ideal for weight loss. (This is based on 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight because you are active.) This study shows that increasing your dietary protein not only preserves your lean muscle mass but also increases your rate of metabolism and affects your appetitive signaling.
In plain English, consuming protein helps you to build lean muscle mass, maintain lean muscle mass, and reduce your appetite. Protein also helps you lose weight and lower your body fat percentage.
So you see, taking protein powder really is a win-win all around especially if you exercise regularly – and I know you do!
But to note, eating protein sources like beef, fish and chicken is a great way to fuel your body, too. Don’t forget awesome plant-based proteins like nuts, chickpeas (try hummus), and tofu as alternatives to meat.
However, if you are on the go a lot and concerned that your protein intake isn’t what it should be, then protein powders are a terrific solution to topping up this nutrient.
Does Protein Burn Belly Fat?
Yes, protein can help burn belly fat. Studies have shown that good quality protein can help you get rid of stubborn central abdominal fat.
Adding protein shakes (I love a plant-based protein powder) to your day reduces the cravings that drive you to eat the foods you should eat in moderation like chocolate (this post does point out the benefits of chocolate when eaten in normal quantities), foods with artificial sweeteners and other snacks that have no nutritional value but add to the waistline.
High quality protein like grass fed beef, chicken, full fat dairy and high protein powders without added sugars and that are 100% natural will give you vitamins, essential amino acids, and minerals to help you make the right kind of gains.
This means an improvement in body composition (yay for lean muscle) and increased thermogenesis, proven to burn fat. And yes, a reduction in belly fat!
Which Protein Product is Best for Weight Loss?
Buy the protein powder that suits your needs the best – and one that you like the taste of. Doing so will be best for weight loss because you’ll use the protein to your advantage. What do I mean?
Well, when it comes to whey protein powder (which is considered an animal source since it comes from dairy), for example, Dustin has a tough time digesting it. So for his needs, a plant-based protein blend is the best. If you find yourself in that situation you may want to think about a plant-based protein.
We developed Cleanish Protein Powder as a plant-based option that’s easy on the stomach for those who are sensitive. Along with pea protein, you’ll see the ingredients list has milled flaxseed and chia protein powder. These give you 3 grams of fiber along with 20 grams of protein in every serving. So that’s a good way to add protein to your day. You’ve got to try the Vanilla Bean!
Because Cleanish Protein Powder has this additional fiber, you can use it as a meal replacement, too, for the days when you don’t have time to stop and make a meal.
And another thing: the best protein powder to buy isn’t going to have a lot of additives or sugar. Look for “pea protein isolate” or “brown rice protein” for example. Avoid ingredients like maltodextrin, aspartame, sucralose, vegetable oils, and xanthan gum. You will see guar gum on our ingredients list, but unlike xanthan gum, it is certified organic and farmed sustainably. This is good to watch out for!
How Do I Use Protein Powder?
I love to add protein powder to a smoothie. Sometimes I’ll add a banana or some strawberries too. It’s tasty and an easy way to add healthy nutrients and a protein supplement to your day. You can also add protein powder to recipes (like my healthy and yummy cookies).
If you are pressed for time (we all get that way sometimes, I know!), you can also add Cleanish Protein Powder to water for an easy-to-grab meal that will satisfy and provide the protein macros you are aiming for. It’s delicious as well!
But remember, you want to make sure that you get plenty of the additional macros you need, too, like fruit, nuts, full-fat Greek yogurt (read my post on full-fat dairy for weight loss), oatmeal, and veggies. Don’t miss out on the all-important antioxidants and inflammation-reducing benefits of clean eating. What can be better than a healthy meal where you can savor every flavor and bite?
To get the high protein content and good-for-you fiber you need, I’ve created a 7-Day Weight Loss Meal Prep plan that I assure you is tasty and easy to prepare. Take a look here!
Protein Powder For Weight Loss Final Thoughts
To really get the most out of protein powders for weight loss, I’ll list my final thoughts. I’m aiming to make things simple for you because I want you to have the same successful and satisfying journey to good health that I have had.
- Although protein powders are not essential to weight loss, they can be an effective tool to help you reach your goals.
- Counting your macros is another very effective tool. As mentioned above, I have a video that explains it all. I can help you determine exactly how much protein you need to lose weight. Take a look!
- Resistance training, counting your steps, and taking the stairs, are ways to move more and get yourself into a hypocaloric state. Develop a routine for exercise that you like and you are more apt to stick with it.
- If you’d like to drink one shake a day, make it before you exercise to give your body the extra fuel you need. Or, enjoying a rewarding protein boost after a workout is a great idea to help build and repair your muscles. Remember, weight gain is not a bad thing either, if you are building lean muscle in replacement of extra body fat.
- Choose a protein powder that has minimal ingredients and no fillers. If you are looking for a protein powder that fits the bill, try Cleanish Protein Powder!
- Keep your goals realistic and sustainable which makes your progress easier to see and track. You can always adjust and tweak your goals as you go.
- And lastly, if you need some help getting on the right track, check out my 30-Day Healthy program. It’s packed with all you need to lose weight, feel better, and have more energy. On to a healthier you!
This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend.