Manufacturers of protein shakes claim that their products aid fat or weight loss. This has seeped into popular culture and propagated the belief that protein shakes should be consumed by people trying to lose weight. Many people will do so expecting to see the pounds fly off, like the advertisements and popular culture claim, only to be disappointed by no weight loss, or even weight gain.
The Idea Behind Protein Shakes
The idea behind protein shakes is that they help people lose weight by replacing a meal. Since protein is digested slowly, it makes the person feel full without eating full meal. In addition, building muscle requires protein, so someone working out in hopes of turning their access fat into muscle can use the protein boost to aid in toning his or her body.
The Truth About Protein Shakes
The truth about protein shakes is that although protein shakes aren't harmful, they don't necessarily help in weight loss.
Protein shakes shouldn't be used to replace a meal, since they do not contain other important vitamins and nutrients that you get from a well-balanced meal rich in vegetables and whole grains. While fat is often vilified by those trying to lose weight, certain types of fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are necessary for the health or your skin, hair, and brain. These types of fats come from whole grains, nuts, fish and white meat, and they do not cause weight gain or have the harmful effects of saturated and trans-fats on your heart and arteries. This in supplementing a meal for a protein shake, you may actually be doing your overall health more harm than good, because you are missing out on the goodness of a healthy meal.
In addition, having a protein shake to skip a meal may make people trying to lose weight feel they can snack more. This will probably be the case because while protein shakes hold off hunger, they are not as satisfying as a meal, and those who skip a meal may want more snacks. Unmonitored snacks can be detrimental to weight loss, especially if they are anything other than fresh fruit and vegetables.
The average person needs 45 to 60 grams of protein a day. As long as you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, adding more protein to this is not necessary. In fact, because protein contains calories, adding extra protein to your diet may prevent weight loss.
Weight Loss Without Protein Shakes
To lose weight healthily, it's best to stick to three well-balanced meals a day. You may chose to decrease your calorie consumption by eliminating processed foods and bleached sugars and flours from your diet rather than eliminating a meal. Make sure to eat lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein sources like nuts, chickpeas, fish, and chicken.
To properly lose weight, you will also need to increase your amount of physical activity. This will keeps your body healthy and cause your fat to turn into toned muscle without the aid or extra cost of protein shakes.