Using protein powders as meal replacements can often be a smart move when following a weight loss diet. Protein is useful for a weight loss diet since it takes longer for the body to digest and therefore keeps you fuller for longer. It is also essential for strong muscles and faster muscular repair – leading to better and more intense exercise and workouts.
The high-protein and low-calorie content of most protein shakes is a great way of getting your necessary amounts of daily protein without consuming too many excess calories which can lead to extra fat deposits – definitely what we DON’T want when trying to lose weight.
They also take out a lot of the hassle from your meal planning – many weight loss diets rightly recommend that you consume 5 or 6 small meals per day instead of the usual big 3 in order to keep your metabolism consistent and help your body process fats and nutrients faster without the need to store them as fat.
Obviously, preparing 5 or 6 meals separate meals per day with all the calories counted and taken care of is a big job for anyone, let alone most of us who have full-time jobs and/or kids.
In this respect, protein powders for weight loss make a lot of sense. So, what should we look for when choosing the right protein powder for weight loss?
Protein Content and Quality
This is usually the first and best indication of whether a protein powder is worth your hard-earned money.
Cheap protein powders will often bung a load of fillers and sweeteners into the mix, which not only reduces the protein content but also makes your life difficult since you end up consuming a load of unhealthy rubbish that can lead to increased weight gain – not good!
Check that the protein you choose is predominantly based around protein isolates instead of concentrates since isolates are purer and better quality.
The protein content should be ideally above 80% of the serving size…any less and it’s probably got a lot of fillers that are no good for your weight loss.
An obvious but often overlooked factor in choosing the right protein powder for weight loss is the sugar content.
A lot of protein powders and shakes are advertised as being “great tasting”, but don’t let this deceive you. Yes, taste is important, but don’t let your hard work and effort get wasted by choosing a protein that tastes great but compromises your weight loss efforts.
High sugar content will play havoc with your metabolism and give you short-term energy boosts, only to crash you down later on. It can also contribute to snacking and sudden hunger pangs.
The most ideal protein powders for weight loss will have little to no carbs and sugar, meaning you’re not sabotaging your weight loss diet.
Do You Have Any Allergies / Intolerance?
This is an important factor when considering which protein powder for weight loss you should choose.
For instance, whey protein is one of the best and most popular forms of protein. However, since it’s derived from milk it is not ideal for folks who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
In this case, soy protein is a great choice, and increasingly popular among bodybuilders…especially if they’re vegetarian.