When one talks about protein shakes, muscle building is the first thing that comes to mind. But unbeknownst to many, protein powder has a great potential for weight loss as well.
So if you want to shed off the pounds – and gain some lean mass well – then make sure to consider these top 10 reasons why protein shakes are great for weight loss.
1. Protein shakes work!
If you have been frustrated with the many diet programs that you tried but didn’t work, you will be glad to know that protein shakes are truly effective in weight loss.
Compared to other diet fare, many researches have proven the weight loss wonder of protein shakes. A study by Claessens et al concluded that diets centered on high-casein or whey protein, similar to protein shakes, are better in weight control to its low-fat counterparts.
In fact, such a diet can lead to as much as 2.2 kilograms in fat reduction in a span of 6 weeks. You can even improve your weight loss by coupling your protein shake intake with exercise.
Best of all, protein shakes can help you lose your annoying belly fat. Apart from trimming the sizes of your arms and thighs (among many other areas,) protein shakes can help you achieve a smaller waistline.
Such was proven in the study of Halkiaer et al, wherein higher protein intake was linked with reductions in waist circumference.
Since protein shakes are made from natural proteins, compared to other artificial weight loss beverages, you don’t have to worry about harming your liver, kidney, and other vital organs while you try to achieve the weight that you have always wanted.
2. Protein is thermogenic
Thermogenic might seem a complicated word to you, but it is one of the terms that you would definitely want to read especially when the topic is about weight loss.
Protein shakes can help your body be more thermogenic, which means you will be able to burn fat through increasing energy expenditure and by converting fat to the energy that the body needs.
How is this possible? The body responds to food intake through a mechanism known as diet-induced thermogenesis. In this process, energy use is increased following a hearty meal.
Proteins produce the highest thermogenic rate at 15 to 30%, compared to carbohydrates and fats that only yield as much as 10% and 3% respectively.
By drinking protein shakes instead of the usual snacks, you can burn more fat – and accelerate the process of weight loss.
3. Protein increases your basal metabolic rate
Basal metabolic rate is defined as the energy your body uses to maintain its functions while you are at rest or asleep. In simpler terms, it’s the body’s way of burning fat without any physical activity.
As it has been mentioned, protein shakes are thermogenic, and since it burns more fat for energy, the same event follows when you are at rest or asleep.
In a study by Whitehead et al, it was shown that those who took high-protein diets burned 297 kilojoules more than those who didn’t. These individuals demonstrated higher basal metabolic rates and better weight loss capacity even at rest.
So if you want to lose weight even when you’re resting or sleeping, then make sure to drink a protein beverage or two during your meal times.
4. Protein can help keep your weight loss permanent
Protein shakes, without a doubt, can help you achieve the sexier body that you have always wanted. But did you know that it can keep the pounds off – even if you have a minor relapse in your diet along the way?
Studies show that those who followed a high-protein diet regained only 9% of the weight lost, while those from the other group regained as much as 23%.
While the science of protein seems promising, remember that diet discipline and exercise affect whether or not you regain a percentage of the pounds that you have gotten rid of already.
5. Protein helps you build and preserve lean muscle mass
Protein shakes, like other diet beverages, can help you lose weight. The advantage of protein shakes though is that it will preserve your muscle mass even as you shed the excess pounds.
As we all know, muscle is important for posture, balance, movement, even breathing! Losing the muscle mass that you have means decreasing your body’s potential to perform the mentioned functions.
In a study of athletes who were given low-calorie diets, results showed that those belonging in the high-protein arm maintained their muscle masses, compared to those enrolled in the control group.
In fact, the researchers concluded that intake of 35% protein, such as what you will receive from protein shakes, better preserves muscle mass compared to just 10% protein intake.
This is great news especially if you want to increase your lean muscle and build your body.
6. Protein can help improve cardiovascular health
Protein shakes are not only great for your figure, they are beneficial for your heart health as well.
That’s because high-protein fare such as protein shakes can help lower the levels of cholesterol and triacylglycerol in your body, according to a study by Cliftons et al.
Cholesterol is vital for cell functioning, but in excess levels, it can lead to the development of coronary heart disease. High levels of triglycerides such as triacylglycerol, on the other hand, can lead to the onset of atherosclerotic heart disease.
Both conditions can be fatal, especially if they are not diagnosed and cured early. Getting enough protein may help you can lessen the chances of getting these heart conditions – while at the same time help you stay lean.
7. Protein can help lower your blood pressure
Diastolic blood pressure or the lower number in your BP reading is the arterial pressure during rest or in between heart beats. The normal diastolic blood pressure is <80, although measures up to 89 are considered a little higher but normal.
Multiple measurements reading an excess of 90 diastolic BP is indicative of hypertension, which, if unmanaged, can lead to heart disease and stroke – and eventual death.
Fortunately, high-protein food stuff such as protein shakes can help reduce diastolic BP, in comparison to carbohydrate or fat-rich fare.
By taking protein shakes regularly, not only will you lose weight, you can reduce your risk of developing hypertension and its resulting complications as well.
8. Protein helps you stay full
Whenever you feel hungry, you binge on mostly unhealthy food. This, of course, leads to weight gain.
However, you don’t have to worry about the nasty hunger pangs while you are on a protein shake diet. That’s because this beverage is very filling, meaning you feel satiated. The tendency to crave is reduced, and with this, the possibility of eating food that can add to your weight.
The reason behind this? High-protein fare such as protein shakes sustain satiety, an activity influenced by many bodily systems. Yes, protein is successful in addressing each and every one of them.
In fact, studies show that people are more satiated following a 60% protein diet compared to a 19% protein diet.
Another study showed that high-protein meals stimulate the release of Cholecystokinin, a hormone which boosts the activity of the intestines. It has been proven to improve satiety, which then results in smaller meal portions and reduced food intake.
9. Protein shakes are delicious and convenient
If you are an on-the-go person, then you probably don’t have the luxury of time to cook healthy food.
You might not even have the budget to buy healthy fare – so you end up eating calorie-ridden fast food or frozen dinners. Whether it’s time constraint – or a budget issue – you can still lose weight at an affordable price with the help of protein shakes.
Protein shakes can be prepared in a jiffy, just add a sachet to water and voila – a delicious yet weight reducing concoction! Instead of the unhealthy fare, why not go for nutritious protein shakes that can help you lose your belly fat?
With the effectiveness and accompanying health benefits of protein shakes for weight loss, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start drinking this fat-reducing beverage today. Just make sure to read the Nutritional Facts in order to get the best bang (and weight loss potential) for your buck.