Does Using Protein Powder For Weight Loss Really Work?

Protein Powder For Weight LossDo people really use protein powder for weight loss?

If you’re like me, anything that touts losing a few pounds has me intrigued yet skeptical at the same time.

I can sit here and think of dozens of weight loss fads, products, and diets that have crossed my path (some I was actually naive enough to try).

The countless weight loss pills that promised magical results, the complete colon cleanses that were composed of cardboard remnants and regret, the latest pill that Oprah stamped her claim on, and detoxes for everything from your head down to your toes.

Also, you can’t forget the caffeine pills, body wraps, diuretics, and mysterious, unpronounceable herbs that were plucked up from some far away land.

Needless to say, I’ve tried my fair share of weight loss methods, some legit and some not so legit.

I feel like I’ve been around the block when it comes to weight loss methods and frankly I’m usually not impressed.

And even worse, when you’re feeling desperate and just want the weight off now, you can easily throw up blinders and start to believe crazy products.

I think we’ve all come to consensus that there are no magic pills or potions that can instantly melt away fat (no matter how much a marketing team tries to put a spell on us).

When it comes down to it, we just want something that works.

That’s where protein powders come in…

You may have never heard about using a protein powder for weight loss.

However, protein has been around, literally forever.

It’s something we need to function and it’s been researched extensively.

One wave of research sprouted the Atkins Diet and then the South Beach Diet.

These diets turned the old thinking of low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets for weight loss on their heads.

Then came low-carbohydrate diets and eating like our ancestors with the Paleo Diet.

A common ingredient among these diets was that they put an emphasis on protein (finally!)

A huge difference between these diets and previous low fat diets was that people weren’t hungry.

Studies show that protein is able to control your hunger and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

This in turn leads to consuming fewer calories, which results in weight loss.

Let’s go ahead and look at some of the reasons why protein powder really does work for weight loss.

1. Weight loss and lean muscle preservation

Many research studies have been conducted showing that whey protein powder can aid in weight loss, while preserving the sought after lean muscle.

One study published in the journal, Nutrition & Metabolism, showed that individuals who consumed a whey protein shake (which was high in leucine, milk calcium, and bioactive peptides) during the duration of the study lost a significantly greater amount of body fat, while preserving a higher amount of lean muscle compared to the control group.

So whey not only helps with weight loss but it can help preserve the vital lean muscle mass that can normally be lost during weight loss.

A 12-week study was done in Minnesota where subjects reduced their calorie intake by 500 calories per day.

They supplemented whey protein with one group, which ended up losing a significantly higher amount of body fat (6.1% total) and persevered lean muscle mass significantly better than the group that got the placebo beverage.

Again, we see that whey helped reduce body fat but also spared lean muscle, which can often times be lost during overall weight reduction.

2. Reduce hunger

Protein powder, whey in particular, not only helps with weight loss and the preservation of lean muscle but it also helps reduce hunger.

Australian researchers found that when their subjects consumed a shake consisting of 50 grams of whey protein, they showed significantly lower levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which is responsible for telling your brain that you’re hungry.

These levels stayed the same for up to 4 hours later.

By reducing hunger triggers, this may lead to less caloric intake and in turn aid in potential weight loss.

Research also shows that whey protein in particular does a better job of keeping you satiated for longer compared to other protein sources such as soy and casein.

Again, the less hungry you are, the less likely you are to eat a surplus of calories, which leads to a reduction in overall calories and potential weight loss.

3. Meal replacement

Protein powders can be used as an effective meal replacer that can lead to weight loss.

Protein powder in general usually has less calories and fat compared to high-protein foods.

So right away you’re saving yourself extra calories and fat that can help get you on your way to weight loss.

The journal Nutrition & Metabolism published a study that showed obese women and men who consumed 2 protein powder shakes per day as meal replacements while following a low-calorie meal plan were able to significantly lose more fat than the individuals who followed only a low-calorie diet.

The protein powder group also lost less lean muscle mass compared to the low-calorie diet group.

4. Calorie torcher

Protein powder has been researched to show weight loss properties because it’s highly thermogenic, which means it burns a great deal of calories once you consume it.

The more calories you burn, the more eventual weight loss you will see.

Also, protein powder helps repair and build muscle tissue.

Muscle burns more calories, which again could lead to potential weight loss.

Final Note…

We’ve learned the hard way that there’s no magic pill to melt away pounds.

However, protein powder has been shown to help with weight loss, reduce hunger, act as a meal replacement, and torch calories.

The results are extremely promising and are backed by scientific research.

If you want to begin your journey to reaching your weight loss goals, find your perfect protein on our list of the 10 best protein powders.

When used the right way, protein powders can be very effective in helping shed those unwanted pounds!