Protein shakes – convenient and effective for losing weight. Is that really the case?
Traditionally, protein shakes were used by bodybuilders only. But now, dieters have made them the buzz of the century. Hyped not just by many women who want to be healthy and sexy, but also promoted by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow as the quick elixir for fitness and health. Protein shakes are shaking the health and fitness world!
But do protein shakes help you lose weight? Do they deliver the skinny effect as they have been hailed to such great popularity? Let’s get straight into it.
What’s The Deal With The Protein Shake?
Protein shakes look and taste like milkshakes but contain powdered forms of protein such as soy or whey. Added with flavoring, they become a quick and enjoyable drink when mixed or blended with water and milk.
With each protein shake, you can get around 20g of protein. As per Federal Government recommendation, women are required 46g of protein intake per day while men are required to have 64g per day.
Muscle mass increase has always been connected to protein intake and resistance exercise. But gradually, it has been discovered especially in 2007 through a US research published in the journal, Obesity, that a protein-rich intake like that in a protein shake, helps lower the levels of Ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. Thus, limiting ones appetite for more food.
It’s studies like this that have dramatically turned protein shakes from a bodybuilder’s food into a staple for everyone who wants to lose weight.
Protein shakes suddenly skyrocketed in popularity especially with women who have busy lifestyles because of its convenience and ease. Now it seems, every supplement company produces protein shakes, and everyone seems to have a protein shake in their hands, for that matter. Next time you go to the gym, take a look around, you can probably count on your hands the people that aren’t guzzling a protein shake down.
However, have you ever wondered whether this is just another, hype in the fitness world? Have you ever considered that it may just be a marketing ploy? There is a lot of argument circling to the importance of protein shakes but also on the contrary.
Let’s delve into some hot topics when it comes to whether drinking that ‘must have’ protein shake really is that important to losing weight and gaining muscle.
It Works But Couldn’t Work Alone.
Experts say that by JUST drinking protein shakes, does not guarantee trimming down your weight and producing larger muscles.
Protein shakes were originally designed for muscle recovery, not for weight loss! Hence, why protein shakes origins started from a bodybuilders-only regime.
It is through time, that supplement companies realized they were only attracting a male dominant market so they thought ‘hey, why not market these protein shakes for weight loss, this will sky-rocket our consumer market to include women’. Supplement companies then tweaked their products and advertising campaigns to target protein shakes as a vehicle for weight loss for women. It wasn’t that hard after all, with a few minor changes to the chemical make-up of the shakes, they then placed a fit looking woman on the packaging and started using feminine colors such as pinks, purples and yellow to attract women in.
So from being marketed as a muscle gainer, over time protein shakes became the weight loss shake for women. In saying this, it begs the question; do protein shakes really help with weight loss? To assist with weight loss, protein shakes must be taken in combination not only with a healthy diet but you need to consider the type of exercise you do.
To get great weight loss results you need to take protein shakes with resistance training. That’s according to Greg Shaw from the Australian Institute of Sports.
The only edge protein shakes have in comparison to other high protein foods such as egg whites and chicken is the sheer ease and comfort in preparing them; place a scoop of protein in a shaker, add some water or milk and you’ve had the protein required.
The point is? You can live fit and healthy life without protein shakes by getting your required protein from natural sources from foods with high protein.
Protein Shake Plus Balanced Diet Has The Guarantee
There is a risk in the growing reliance on protein shakes for fitness and health as Dietician Julie Gilbert from Dieticians Association of Australia warns.
She even adds that it isn’t actually the protein that we get from protein shakes that sheds our weight but protein reduces our appetite when we take in more of it. In effect, the reduced hunger causes us not to take in more kilojoules (energy from food) esp. from carbohydrates.
The idea is, protein from protein shakes is not all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. You still need fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and fiber in your diet.
Protein in any form naturally reduces appetite. A moderate increase of protein may be an effective strategy for losing weight but they are not the be all and end all for weight loss. Compared to carbohydrate or fat consumption, protein consumption has a greater a fullness effect which in turn reduces energy consumption, especially energy that will turn into fat for just being stored and unused in our body.
A fit and healthy life requires a lifetime change in life-style. It means a long term commitment for a balanced and holistic approach to your health. We must remember that there are the two main reasons why we gain weight: 1. Our poor eating habits and 2. Our bad food choices. More often than not, our eating habits are unhealthy or even abusive which leads to an overdose of unnecessary calories. And if you think a protein shake is going to reverse both of these, it’s not.
Identification and transformation of these habits into positive ones are the sure answer to effective and successful weight control. Eating proper food to get your protein intake instead of guzzling down a protein shake with do that.
Another very important point for successful weight loss and overall fitness is the sustainability of your commitment and strategy. It is not just what you take in but your overall lifestyle that you need to change and that you need to keep it that way for the long haul.
So the question now is, is relying on protein shakes the best and most effective weight loss method for a lifetime of health and fitness? Is this your only strategy?
What you must understand is that although protein shakes work at reducing your appetite and are great way to increase protein in your diet, they should not be used as the only vehicle to lose weight.
So then, why do so many women use protein shakes for weight loss?
One word. Convenience.
When you think about it, convenience certainly doesn’t benefit any person, at all, in the long run when healthy living is concerned. You can definitely and conveniently meet the same protein as protein shakes using other more natural approaches and means.
That is what everyone forgets.
You can widen your options for foods to help you in your weight loss strategy. Begin to add to your diet, controlled portions of other foods as a start. You can use whey protein products but only temporarily. Occasional use of protein shakes to compliment your diet is ok. But you should enjoy your life with real food that you can savour every day for the rest of your ever improving life. Our motto at fitaddict.me for weight loss is about healthy weight loss. There is a big difference between weight loss and healthy weight loss.
There are more exciting ways and means to sustain a fit and strong figure apart from drinking a protein shake. Even in a busy daily routine, it pays to regularly divert or reinvent your approach to not only your life but your diet aswell. Don’t get stuck inside that protein shaker!
So what do we suggest to supplement the protein from your beloved comfort weight loss protein shake? Here are a few examples of everyday foods that are high in protein with their quantities and corresponding caloric and protein breakdown. If you take a closer look at these high protein foods and look at the nutritional information on your protein shake, you will soon realize that the real whole foods below most likely have more protein than your ‘high protein’ protein shake or protein bar!
- 1 egg – 12.6g protein (90 calories)
- 1 cup of quinoa – 9g protein (255 calories)
- 1 cup of milk – 8g protein (90 calories)
- 3/4 oz. chicken breast – 27g protein (150 calories)
- 3 ounces of tofu – 14g protein (125 calories)
- 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese – 14g protein (82 calories)
To Drink or Not To Drink?
The take home message is this: be careful what protein shake you are drinking, not all are beneficial for you. By eating whole foods, you are getting the same amount of protein in your diet. Healthy weight loss is through healthy living and healthy dieting. Is drinking protein shakes all the time in hope to lose the pounds healthy weight loss?
Does our fitaddict.me team still drink protein shakes? Yes we do, but we limit them and have them in moderation, opting to get our protein requirements from real food such as the food we have provided above. We drink the ones that aren’t loaded up with flavorings and we drink them in moderation. We will do a post about the protein shakes we recommend for women soon, ones that aren’t loaded with artificial flavors that will just do more damage than good. The product to the right is just one example a protein powder we personally use and recommend for women looking for a meal replacement and to tone up. What’s the best time to drink a protein shake? If you are going to go the easy route and consume a protein shake or protein bar, the best time is after doing resistance training such as after lifting weights.