Are you looking for the best protein powder for weight loss? Protein powders are becoming popular in the general population and are no longer exclusively used by bodybuilders and serious athletes. As the benefits of protein powders are becoming more commonly known, it’s understandable that people hope to take advantage of them.
They are used for a variety of reasons. These supplements are ideal for building muscle, but can also offer incredible advantages for weight loss. But, how? And if you do decide to take a protein powder, which one should you take?
This article will explain how protein powders can help you shed a few pounds, explore which is the best protein powder for weight loss, how you should take the powder and how to incorporate it into your overall weight loss plan.
Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Your Buying Guide
You’ll see they list certain amino acids, boast their excellent flavor, and are available in GMO free, gluten free, dairy free, organic and an infinite number of other formulas. What do you buy? The best protein powder may not be the first one to appear on the list.
First, you need a basic understanding of proteins. Our bodies need protein, which is made of amino acids.
Some of these amino acids are produced right within our bodies themselves. However, 9 amino acids, which are known as the “essential amino acids” must be sourced from food.
Complete proteins are foods that contain all of the essential amino acids. Proteins that come from meat, dairy, eggs and some plant sources such as hemp, quinoa, buckwheat and soybeans are all examples of complete proteins. This is good news for vegetarians and vegans! You can get complete proteins from plant sources. (1)
When searching for protein for weight loss, seek out a product that meets these requirements:
- It tastes good: You’ll be consuming this on a daily basis. If you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it.
- It’s a complete protein: Give your body the best by making sure your protein powder contains all essential amino acids.
- High protein content: To get the best bang for your buck, you’ll want at least 20 g of protein per serving.
- It’s low in carbohydrates: Since you’re on a weight loss plan, you want to avoid excess calories that aren’t dedicated to protein. The most common sources of carbohydrates in protein powders is sugar! So beware of ingredients like dextrins and maltodextrins. At a max, the best protein powder will include 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Also, beware of protein powders that are focused on helping people gain weight, as these are also popular on the market.
When viewing carbohydrate content, don’t forget to check if any of it is in the form of fiber. So, if a product has a high carbohydrate content, but it’s also high in fiber, it might be ok.
However, if the carbohydrates are all sugars and other carbs, take a pass. Fiber can help with weight loss, as has been proven in this study.
How does it work? Fiber makes you feel fuller without adding calories (2). Basically, fiber usually just passes through your digestive system, which is why it’s also recommended for improving symptoms of constipation.
In addition to these considerations, there are many types of protein powder to consider. Take a look at the options below:
Livin3’s Top Pick: Pure Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Livin3’s Runner Up: ViSalus’ Fiber Intensive
Livin3’s Honorable Mention: Legion’s Grass-Fed Protein
How to Use Protein Powder
When it comes to weight loss, you’ll want a broader plan that includes exercise and a healthy diet. As mentioned earlier in the article, it’s best if you can reduce your calorie intake, which may require counting calories while you get used to your new diet.
Everyone knows cutting back on calories helps you to lose weight, but it can be a bit more complicated than that when you want to lose weight healthfully. Supplements like protein powder can help ensure you’re still getting the balanced nutrition your body needs while you’re on your weight loss plan.
Once you’ve found the protein powder for your needs and preferences, you can use it in a number of ways:
- Use it in meals. Add protein powder to your healthy, whole-grain pancake, diet-friendly oatmeal and muffin batter to make these foods more filling. You can often substitute about 1/3 of the flour in these types of recipes with protein for weight loss. Avoid adding any more, as it can really affect the texture of baked goods. With the punch of protein in your meals, you’ll feel satiated for longer, which will make it easier for you to cut down on your calories overall.
- As meal replacements. Use a serving of protein in water, milk or a delicious smoothie to serve as a meal replacement. You should really opt for casein over whey when using your powder as a meal replacement. Because casein protein is absorbed slowly, you won’t feel like you’re starving before you plan to have your next meal. When making smoothies, be sure to count your calories with care so that you don’t end up with something that includes even more calories than your meal would have.
- As snacks. You can cut down on calories in your meals by eating healthy snacks to get you through the day. Have a quick protein shake using your protein powder in water mid-morning to give yourself a burst of energy and keep you full while only adding about 120 calories. This will also help you control your portion size at lunch as you won’t be famished when it’s time to eat.
Including protein powder as a part of a larger plan to reduce calories and get exercise will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Remember to make your protein account for about 25% of your overall calories. As mentioned before, on a diet of 1800 calories, you would need to consume 113 grams of protein (3).
That means if you include two servings of your protein powder a day, you’ll probably get in about 50 grams of protein. The remaining 63 grams can be gotten by eating 4 oz of skinless, boneless chicken breast, which will give you about 35 grams of protein and a few other protein-heavy foods like black beans, eggs, cheese, fish and milk.
Pro Tip: Protein powders are the perfect complement to the keto diet. This plan helps you change your body’s fuel from glucose to ketones, which can be very effective at helping you slim down. There are many wonderful keto supplements to purchase that will help you get started on this diet and enjoy a successful weight loss journey.
Take control of your weight with protein powder! Eating right and getting the proper amount of protein can make a world of difference in ensuring your weight loss is focused on eliminating fat, while preserving your lean body mass. This way, your weight loss will work for you, helping you maintain a great metabolism.
Weight loss is hard, but it can be easier when you’re not starved and your metabolism is working in your favor. Protein can make this happen.
Do you have a favorite protein powder? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
- What is a complete protein? Piedmont Healthcare.
- Gardner, Amanda. High-Fiber Diets and Weight Loss. Nourish by WebMD.
- Fetters, K. Aleisha MS/CSCS. Your Guide to Protein Powder: Lose Weight, Build Muscle, Age Better. U.S. News & World Report, 10 March 2017.
- Ferrari, Nancy. Making one change – getting more fiber – can help with weight loss. Harvard Health Blog, 17 February 2015.
- How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You. Cleveland Clinic, 12 June 2020.