These days we know protein powder is just as useful for those looking to lose weight and slim down as it is to help build lean muscle tone.
In this post, we’re going to tell you all about how protein powder can be helpful for weight loss. You’ll learn more about protein and why it’s necessary for anyone looking to slim down and improve both their outside looks and inside health.
The problem with ‘weight loss’
OK, so you’re looking to lose a bit of weight. The first thing that comes to mind is that you should just set a goal of losing a certain amount of kilograms.
Yes, that’s technically correct, but it’s far from a perfect measure.
Why? Because, surely you don’t just want to lose weight?
To really improve your health, and your physique, you need to lose weight in the right places and often that means losing fat.
A massive difference in a single word
Although the difference between’ weight’ and ‘fat’ seems trivial, it’s actually huge.
By focusing on losing fat instead of just weight you are doing your body an enormous favour.
You are taking a different, qualitative approach, and instead of just losing a certain amount of kilograms, you will achieve something much greater, which is body recomposition.
This means that the overall structure of your body will change.
Put simply, by focusing on body recomposition, instead of just weight loss, you will maintain or even increase your muscle mass while simultaneously losing fat. That means your muscle to fat ratio will improve, and you’ll have relatively more muscle mass than you had before.
The result? You’ll look slim and toned. Not just ‘skinny-fat’.
The skinny-fat look usually happens when someone focuses on losing weight alone. Sure, they’ll lose fat, but with it, they’ll also lose their precious, hard-earned muscles too!
This is not only unhealthy, as muscles have a positive role in the body, supporting bones, allowing you to move easier, work out better etc, but it’s also not very wise.
How to focus on losing fat?
Let’s get started on fat loss.
First thing’s first: to lose fat you need to enter a ‘caloric deficit’.
In other words, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
By reducing calories, your weight will begin to drop, and you will start depleting your body’s fat stores.
But, as we previously mentioned, it’s important to prevent muscle loss at the same time! If you can do that, you will start noticing a positive difference on the scale and in the mirror much more quickly!
The fat will take care of itself if our overall calorie intake is lowered. So, the question to focus on is: how do we prevent muscle loss?
How to preserve muscles during weight loss
To prevent muscle loss, you need two ingredients: strength training and protein.
Strength training will signal to your body that its muscles are needed. Strength training burns calories, which will further help your fat loss efforts, getting you into that caloric deficit even faster!
However, muscles themselves require a lot of fuel and are very "expensive" for your body to maintain in terms of everyday energy and calories. If you don't use them regularly, your body will start breaking them down to save on energy requirements, especially when calories are restricted (something we do not want).
This is where protein comes into play.
In order to burn fat and build muscle effectively you need to consume a certain amount of protein each day (for those that are highly active this can be upto 2 X the recommended amount).
This ensures that your body will use protein from food as its primary fuel source and will not look to borrow nutrients from muscles even when you are in a calorie deficit.
Pretty cool, right?
How else can protein benefit fat loss?
Besides being the central building block of muscle tissue, which will help your body keep hold of its hard-earned muscle during weight loss, here are some reasons why you should focus on your protein intake when trying to lose fat.
Protein is "heavy"
It’s hard to binge eat steak, eggs, chicken breast, or similar protein-rich foods. Protein by nature is very satiating, which is why protein rich foods fill you up quickly and keep you fuller for longer - making overeating less likely and preserving that caloric deficit!
Proteins have fewer calories than fats
Yes, fats fill you up quickly too. However, fats have twice as many calories per gram than protein (9 opposed to 4), and overeating rich fatty foods is much more likely than overeating with foods that are rich in protein. A tablespoon of peanut butter can have around 100 calories, and who ever stops at just one!?
Proteins doesn't mess with your blood sugar
Although protein has the same amount of calories as carbs, it affect our bodies quite differently. Carbs get in the bloodstream very quickly, skyrocketing our blood sugar. What follows is a high insulin spike, reducing blood sugar and causing instant cravings, making you want to eat again! Proteins don't affect our blood sugar levels like this, making it easier to control cravings on a high protein diet.
Getting Enough Protein
So, now you’re strength training and being sure to add a good amount of protein to your diet each day.
And in a caloric deficit, more than any other time, you really need to make sure you’re consuming a sufficient amount of protein.
But how much protein is enough?
The numbers aren’t clear and different research points to different amounts. It ranges from 56 grams a day as the bare minimum, all the way up to 200 grams plus! It really depends on your own body type, how large your calorie deficit is and how active you are.
To make things simple, aim for between 1.2 - 1.5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight each day and see how you feel.
The second issue is that eating this much protein consistently is not always an easy task.
An average egg has about 6 grams of protein, while an average chicken breast has 31 grams of protein. Doing the math, if you weigh 80kg, you’ll need to eat chew through quite a lot of of food to hit your optimal amount of protein every single day and avoid muscle loss!
Luckily, that's where protein powder can really help
A single scoop of protein powder has 20-30 grams of protein, making it much more convenient for you to reach your daily goals. What's more is that it can be taken in between meals as a snack and consumed on the go.
Of course, the majority should still come from real foods, but protein powder will make sure you hit your target every day.
What Protein Powder Is Best For Weight Loss?
By now we’re sure you’ll agree that protein powder can help your fat loss efforts a great deal!
And as we said, consuming protein solely from wholefood sources is sometimes tricky, especially when you’re ‘on the go’.
Instead of turning to fast food, which quickly compromises your precious caloric deficit, it’s a much better idea to prepare a protein shake that you can carry with you.
But, the question is, which protein powder is best for weight loss? Here's how to pick.
There are many different kinds of protein powders: blends, concentrates, isolates. For weight loss purposes, isolates are the best option. They contain around 95% of protein, which means you won't get any "useless" calories from other sources, making sure you stay in that caloric deficit!
Whey works best
Whey protein is regarded as the best type of protein powder because of its high bioavailability, which means your body can metabolise and use the nutrients nice and quick. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, there are also many plant proteins you can try, including hemp, pea, and brown rice.
Read the labels
Always buy from well-known manufacturers. "White-label" proteins might be affordable, but their purity is questionable. Whenever you see something like "proprietary blend" without the actual ingredients listed, be sure that is the cheapest form of protein in there, with God knows how many additives and chemicals.
Keep it clean. Don't base your decision solely on budget.
Bottom line: protein powders are an excellent dietary addition if you are looking to lose weight and burn fat
As you can see, there are many reasons why consuming protein powder is a preferred dietary choice when trying to lose weight.
Ultimately it is a caloric deficit that will make you lose fat, but making sure you’re eating enough protein and strength training at the same time is the best way to maintain lean muscle and achieve the results and look you want.
Not to mention the health benefits.
Protein powder is a great addition to your weight-loss nutrition. It will help you stay on track, making sure you get your daily protein goals even when real protein-rich foods are unavailable.
Protein powder can't replace real food, but it sure is handy, and will greatly assist with your weight loss efforts.
At Go Good, our award winning nutrient packed protein powders are designed especially to support your goals.