Looking to lose extra weight for summer? Perhaps you’ve got yourself a beach holiday booked and you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds? Well, in a nutshell, if you’re looking to lose weight in a healthy way, this is the blog for you!
Now in this blog we are going to focus on one of the three macronutrients… protein. It is critical to consume protein, especially when trying to lose weight and we’re going to explain just why that is. With a particular focus on whey protein and how it can be a useful weapon in your arsenal when it comes to weight loss.
A bit about protein
Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, but it can also be a powerful tool for weight loss. Now of course protein can come in many different forms such as, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, protein shakes, soy and eggs to name just a few, and these sources will have different amino acid profiles. Generally speaking, animal proteins are known as complete sources of protein, this means that they contain all nine of the essential amino acids. However, many plant based protein sources are either too low or are missing one or more of the essential amino acids, thus considering them to be incomplete protein sources. We’ll be sure to do a blog on the different sources of protein in the near future too so look out for that!
One of the most common sources and a complete protein is whey protein. This dairy-based by-product of cheese is the most popular source of protein in supplement form. And for good reason indeed, it is a high-quality protein that is easy to digest and is quickly absorbed by the body. It’s often used as a post-workout supplement, as it helps to promote muscle growth and repair but can be used at absolutely any time of the day. For example, it can also be used as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals to help bolster your protein intake.
A high protein diet helps with weight loss
When dieting down, one of the biggest hurdles people tend to come across is fighting hunger. People will derail from their weight loss goals and are not likely to follow a diet plan if they are experiencing high levels of hunger. And of the three macronutrients, protein is the most satiating.
Studies have shown that consuming a high-protein diet can be a very effective approach when it comes to weight loss. One of the main reasons as to why consuming a high protein diet for weight loss reasons is because of its ability to increase feelings of fullness, which can ultimately lead to fewer calories being consumed throughout the day. And whey protein can help promote weight loss by increasing satiety, reducing hunger, and promoting thermogenesis.
Consuming a high-protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism and can change several weight-regulating hormones. This is done as higher amounts of protein in the diet can increase the levels of satiety hormones whilst also reducing the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Also, a higher protein intake has been shown to boost metabolism due to the high thermic effect it can have.
Of course, we’re talking about lean sources of protein here such as chicken breast, turkey breast, lean beef, fish and so on. The aim is to get the calories predominantly from the protein so although cheeseburgers and fried chicken will contain protein, they will also come with a lot of fats and carbohydrates too which ultimately means a high calorie meal!
So in addition to feeling full for longer periods of time, protein will also help to preserve lean body mass when dieting down and also, protein is difficult to actually store as body fat. This is because when digested, protein goes through a contrasting process to fats and carbohydrates in order to be stored as body fat.
How to use whey protein for weight loss
By including whey protein in a high protein diet, it can help to make it easier to meet your protein needs. Simply pour your desired amount of whey protein in your shaker with water or milk, shake and enjoy! Or you can buy ready-made protein shakes from the supermarket too, but be sure to read the nutritional information on these as some do contain vast amounts of sugar! Right there you’ve got yourself a healthy, high protein shake in just a few seconds. They are convenient, quick, and can be tailored to meet your individual needs. Protein shakes are also a great way to get a large amount of protein in a single serving, thus making it easier to meet your daily protein goals. Typically, you’d want to find a whey protein powder that has minimal amounts of sugar and fat, such as our range of whey protein supplements!
But the fun doesn’t have to stop there, you can make a variety of healthy snacks with whey protein, such as protein pancakes, protein muffins, protein smoothies and many, many more! And to keep you covered, we’ll soon be showing you just how to make these delicious, healthy, high-protein snacks.
Since a high protein diet can help with satiety and we believe that you should still be able to enjoy life when dieting down, it could be a good idea to consume a protein shake prior to going out to eat for example. Any diet you choose to follow should not restrict you from enjoying life such as going out to eat with friends and family, going on holidays, or anything else you enjoy. However we do recognize that it can be challenging for people to stick to their diet, so to help combat this, it could be an idea to consume a serving of your choice of protein before heading out. This can help with satiety and even prevent overindulging, which many people tend to do when eating out.
Other sources of protein for weight loss
Besides whey protein, there are other sources of protein that can help you lose weight as we’ve mentioned earlier. Protein-rich foods such as chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, fish, and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. Again, these are complete sources of protein.
If you choose not to consume animal based proteins, then other sources such as buckwheat, quinoa and lentils are great alternatives. Since some popular plant based protein sources do not contain or are too low in essential amino acids, you could choose to consume an essential amino acid supplement alongside your plant based meal. This is a great way to consume all nine of these amino acids in a single serving!
Protein bars are another great way to help reach your daily protein target. Similarly to whey protein shakes, protein bars are convenient and can be eaten on the go too. They often also contain fats and carbohydrates so be sure to read the ingredients list and nutritional information on each pack to ensure you’re getting what you need.
How much protein do you need?
So by now you know the importance of consuming a high-protein diet when aiming to lose weight, but how much protein do you need on a daily basis?
While there is no definitive number, it is generally recommended when in a caloric deficit to consume between 1.6 - 2.2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Especially now that if you’re in a caloric deficit losing weight, you’ll want to preserve as much muscle as possible since your body can break down your muscle tissue for fuel when it has utilized other sources. So to help counteract this, it is best to aim to consume between 1.6 - 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight.
So there you have it, the importance of consuming a high-protein diet when looking to lose weight.
Whole foods should absolutely be the bread and butter of your diet, with high protein sources such as chicken, fish, beef, dairy and more. But by including protein shakes to supplement your diet, you can increase your protein intake and reap the benefits that come with consuming a high protein diet.
The great part is, you do not need to eat bland foods in order to get enough protein. You’ve probably seen unseasoned chicken breast doing the rounds on social media and while some may indeed have an appetite for this, many will not.
One thing to note is that yes, absolutely season your food to your liking but be aware of the calories that come with these, especially when they are bought from the store as many will come with high amounts of sugar in particular.
As always when choosing a protein supplement, it is important to remember to read the nutritional information on each product you buy and choose high-quality products with low sugar content.
At DY Nutrition, we have a range of products that can aid you on your weight loss journey such as, our range of whey protein powders, EAAs, fat burning supplements and much more!