I get asked a lot, “which protein shake should I be taking to help me lose weight?”
I started noticing that a lot of women feel like they need a protein powder or shake to help boost weight loss.
Maybe it’s because protein is the golden child, always prized, can do no harm, loved by all.
But my reply to everyone is always the same… “what do you need the protein shake for?”
Many can’t answer this question.
They just “know” with certainty that it’s necessary.
So let’s talk today about all things protein shakes, then you can decide if it’s something right for you.
When I refer to protein shakes, I automatically include protein powders as well, both are the same thing in this article moving forward.
A little refresher- remember weight loss is dependent on making a calorie deficit, not by increasing intake or restricting a particular macronutrient such as carbohydrates, fat or protein.
Protein shakes will not help you lose weight.
Creating a calorie deficit by restricting calories and/or exercise is the way you lose actual pounds.
Protein is likely the go-to macronutrient for people when losing weight because fat usually has more calories per gram and carbohydrates are generally shunned in our society, leaving us with protein and all its glory.
And yes, when losing weight, I do recommend consuming a little extra protein, especially if you are exercising but not to the point where it demands several protein shakes daily.
If you replace meals you eat with protein shakes, this may help you lose weight but then you’re missing out on eating solid food with essential nutrients your body needs.
Protein does help with satiety but come on, is there anything quite like eating a meal with REAL food that you can see physically?!
Our mind and body needs to physically see a plate of food with colors, taste the actual flavors, and feel the actual feeling of fullness with food in your stomach.
Replacing meals with protein shakes is also kind of a lazy thing to do.
I mean think about it, you don’t have to think about what to prepare and a lot of times you can just pick up pre-packaged shakes.
No cooking, no mess, easy peasy.
But I’ve seen this work temporarily.
People begin to miss food…they go back to it…have no idea how to control it because they aren’t use to eating meals that’ll help them lose weight and transition into a lifestyle change and then BAM…the weight loss just creeps right back on.
Another reason why protein shakes have a lot of buzz around them is because it’s big in the fitness world.
A lot of athletes, weight lifters, body builders and people shredding consume a little extra protein usually in the form of protein shakes.
And it’s needed to build and preserve lean body muscle mass.
But it doesn’t mean it can’t be obtained via the diet.
Protein shakes are convenient and easy, especially if you are on the go.
But you can also eat a high protein meal and meet your protein needs.
Having a protein shake over eating protein in food does not provide any extra advantage for your body.
And I think this is the biggest misconception because people think it’s magical or boosts weight loss, but it really does not.
Personally, protein powder is the only supplement I take and the main reason I do take it is because it’s convenient.
Usually two out of three of my daily meals have either fish, turkey, chicken, eggs or lean ground beef, so making more food with animal protein isn’t always easy.
And animal protein is expensive!
Protein shakes can be used directly post-workout if you aren’t ready for a meal or even as a snack option.
For example, I blend unsweetened almond milk with half a banana and chocolate protein powder as one of my evening snacks.
It’s easy, convenient and helps me meet my protein needs during my shredding phase.
Be mindful of the type of protein shake you are consuming, some can be really high in calories or fake sugar that can upset your stomach.
Protein shakes can be incorporated into your diet as a meal or snack but they are not necessary.
Remember, you can obtain all the protein you need through food, in both animal and vegetarian sources.