If you are targeting significant weight loss this year then you might have been tempted into trying the protein shake diet. In effect these are meal replacement shakes that let you replace a couple of your daily meals with protein shakes and lower your daily calorie intake.
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about what the best diet protein shake recipes are and the benefits of using these drinks to lose weight. If you are asking yourself “does the protein shake diet work” then read our easy to understand guide on whether it will work for you.
What is the Protein Shake Diet?
The first thing to make clear is this: The protein shake diet is not a miracle weight loss cure so please do not take everything you read on the Internet as fact. Probably 99% of online articles that you read about this program are trying to sell you something so will pitch their information accordingly to make you buy protein shake diet recipes and products.
As with any diet or weight loss program you need to regularly exercise as well as controlling your calorie intake. However, protein shakes are used very extensively by both dieters and by men and women who are embarking on a gym-based training program – which is because they understand that the combination of exercise and diet is the key to success.
Does the Protein Shake Diet Work?
If you replace two out of three daily meals with a protein diet shake then you might be able to reduce your calories – which in turn will assist with weight loss. However, do not replace all your daily meals because protein diet shakes do not contain everything you need for a healthy diet and you will not be taking on all the daily nutritional benefits associated with whole foods. Protein contains calories so you could find yourself actually putting weight on unless you also exercise too.
Unless you burn more calories than you are actually eating then you will have no chance of success. Make sure you supplement protein shakes with one daily main meal which should accommodate for any lost nutrition – so food types like whole grains, fruit, and vegetables should supplement your diet.
What’s the Best Protein Shake Diet to Lose Weight?
If you are looking to for a meal replacement protein shake, then the best protein diet shake to lose weight is the meal replacer. We’ve found this short recipe below that is designed to not only let you feel like you are full up, but should also serve to replace a daily meal.
Protein Diet Shake Recipe for Weight Loss
- 40g of protein blend
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- 3 tablespoons of yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon of barley grass powder
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed powder
Blend all of these ingredients into 500ml of water using a blender and away you go! The reason this protein diet shake will be more successful than some of the off the shelf pre-mixed products you will find on the Internet is because it contains nutrients that are essential for health living – and these are all found in the foods in the recipe.
What is the Recommended Amount of Daily Protein?
An average adult will need around 64g of protein in their diet daily, so our delicious protein diet shake recipe will suffice in order to target exercise-assisted weight loss. In more detail the Institute of Medicine recommends that an adult eats a minimum of 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight – so for an average sized adult of 160 pounds that equates to around 64g
Are Protein Diet Shakes Dangerous?
High protein diets can also be beneficial for weight loss according to the Harvard School of Public Health – but only if in conjunction with a reduction in the amount of calories you consume each day. Harvard continues to say that for people of good health, eating 25% of your daily calories from protein will not have any adverse effects on the kidneys.
However, if you are a sufferer of diabetes then the American Diabetes Association recommends you limit yourself to 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight. In terms of related heart problems with a protein shake diet then please note that a study of over 80,000 women in the United States conducted over twenty years recorded that those eating low-carbohydrate diets that were high in vegetable sources of fat or protein actually had a 30% lower risk of heart disease.
This was versus women on a high carbohydrate and low fat diet. As with any diet plan though, please consult either a registered dietician or doctor before embarking on the protein shake diet to see if it is dangerous for you.
Protein Shakes for Weight Training
There is some medical research to confirm that protein shakes, when used before weight training, will actually increase the velocity of fat loss. If weight lifters and gym users drink amino acids and carbohydrates before their lifting session then higher rates of metabolism are noted the following day. This is when in comparison to a person who has purely ingested carbohydrates before the work out. Dr Kyle Hackney of the Syracuse University in New York states that:
“The extra protein helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits your metabolism following exercise and consuming a protein shake with training can speed fat loss and help to build lean muscle.”
This research from Syracuse University found that their test cases benefited from protein shakes when the mix of the drink was as few as 22g of protein combined with 35g of carbohydrates – but this should be done one hour before the training session and any physical work out.
Alternatives to Protein Shakes
There are some health alternatives to protein shakes which will help you to maintain a healthy diet. These include:
- One pint of chocolate milk
- 150g of Greek yoghurt
- 50g of beef jerky and some grapes
- 225g of cottage cheese and some dried fruit
These recommendations all come from the renowned nutritionist Alan Aragon who states that the combinations listed above are great to snack on and include the best volumes of lean protein to help with muscle building and weight loss safely – all with nutrition in mind.
Summary on the Protein Shake Diet
To summarize we always go back to the one piece of advice we love to give on Health & Fitness Heroes – and that is you must never rely on a diet plan in order to lose weight. The protein shake diet to lose weight can work for you – but unless you are also motivated to stick to the ingredients and also combine it with daily physical activity then you will never truly succeed with this program.
Do not believe all the wild claims that you see on websites trying to make you buy protein diet shakes because invariably that information is purely geared towards making you open your wallet. If you really want to use protein as part of a healthy diet then simply purchase some basic cheap protein powder and mix it up using our protein shake recipe referenced earlier in this article.