Are you struggling to reach your weight loss goals because you feeling hungry all the time on your low calorie diet? Have you got worries about whether the nutritional content of your diet plan is providing everything you need to stay healthy and lose weight safely? Or are you wondering whether there is a safe and effective supplement you could take to make your exercise routine even more effective at helping you in losing the weight you want to and gaining the lean muscle you need to shape and contour your body?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes!”, you will be glad to know that using whey protein for weight loss is recognized as a way to help shed those unwanted pounds and extra inches safely and keep those hunger pangs at bay! Its effectiveness is backed up with scientific research by top Universities; It is proven to help maintain correct nutritional levels and keep the body in balance, especially when following a reduced calorie diet.
Please read on to find out:
- What whey protein is.
- What types are available.
- Which is the best type for weight loss.
Not all whey protein powder products are the same, so don’t waste your time, or your money buying any until you have read our guide. Those few minutes could save you money and lose you inches!
Firstly, What is Whey?
Whey is a bi-product of the process that milk undergoes in making cheeses. An agent is added to milk to make it form clots or curds. The curds are used to make cheese, the remaining liquid is the whey. In its natural state, whey contains about half of the sugar called lactose that is found in milk.
Whey powder in its most basic form is simply the result of drying the liquid whey to remove the water and contains all the essential amino acids also called branch chain amino acids or BCCAs our bodies need.
What are essential amino acids?
Imagine a protein molecule as a completed Lego model. Each model is built of many little bricks. Imagine each little brick as one of the essential amino acids. If we didn’t have the right bricks, we could not build the model.
This is the same if we are not getting the required essential amino acids; our bodies cannot manufacture them and we need to take them in with our food. If we don’t get enough of the right type, our bodies cannot build the proteins that are essential for growth and repair.
When building a Lego model, just having one small brick missing can result in the model not being made or not working properly. Luckily, whey contains all the essential amino acids in just the right proportions for our body to use to optimal effect.
What forms of Whey Protein Powder are Available?
–> Dried Sweet Whey (DSW) is a lower protein form of whey powder which comes as a bi-product of making hard cheeses like cheddar. It contains between 11 and 14.5% protein – whereas whey protein concentrate contains over 30% and sometimes as much as 85%. However, it is the whey product that contains the highest levels of vitamins and minerals and is a really good source of calcium. Taking in adequate amounts of calcium can be difficult when trying to lose some weight but it is vital, especially for women who are in the peri-menopausal or post-menopausal stage of their life because of the problems associated with Osteoporosis that can result.
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–> Whey Protein Concentrate is a way of getting a high protein product at a very reasonable price but because of the high lactose content (around 5%), it is not suitable for everyone and can still cause the problems with bloating and gas that many people experience with products containing lactose.
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–> Whey Protein Isolate is more expensive but has undergone additional filtering to remove a lot more of the lactose and quite a lot of the fat. This reduction in the fat content makes it a good product if you want a lower calorie protein supplement and if you have experienced problems with ‘gas’ whilst taking the concentrate product, this could be the answer to that problem!
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–> Hydrolyzed Whey Protein is the product most body builders use. It has a very high protein content and for this group of users who consume large quantities every day, the fact that this product is treated with enzymes to make it even easier to digest, is a big plus – even though it is typically more expensive.
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Which is the Best Whey Protein For Weight Loss?
We recommend choosing whey protein isolate if your goals are weight loss and you are able to be moderately active and take exercise.
Why do we stress the importance of being able to take exercise?
If you are serious about using whey protein to help you lose weight, you will be successful if you take regular exercise. You need both fat burning exercise and resistance exercises which help you to build muscle. By doing both, you will be boosting your metabolic rate which means that you will burn even more fat.
Take a look at the well-documented results of a study by the University of Illinois which shows that women, particularly post-menopausal women who want to lose weight but want to protect their bones and protect against muscle loss, should follow a high protein weight loss diet plan.
Researchers found that adding protein powder supplements to the diet, not just at one meal, but throughout the day, helped those trying to lose weight by making them feel fuller and so less inclined to ‘snack’ on the wrong types of foods.
In addition, the ratio of fat to muscle was kept in much better balance as the women in the study gained more muscle relative to the amount of weight lost. The exercise plan for these women was only light exercise, comprising walking and stretching.
With regard to older women who risk losing more lean muscle when on a weight loss plan if they do not consume a higher protein diet, researcher Mina Mojtahedi, was quoted as saying:
That loss can affect their strength, balance, and how well they perform everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs and getting up out of a chair
The group of women on the low protein diet were found to have lost less weight overall (almost 4% less) but one third of their weight loss was muscle loss not fat loss!
A Quick Guide To Using Whey Protein For Weight Loss
If you incorporate exercise into your weight loss plan, you will be more successful and protect your long term health at the same time. Simply put, the more you exercise, the more protein you need but for most people, between 0.5 grams and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight is about right.
Choose the whey protein powder supplement product you want to use. This might be in the form of a powder to add to shakes and regular meals or a pre-prepared product that you can simply make up into a meal replacement shake.
Choose products without artificial sweeteners as these can also cause digestive problems with bloating and gas. Obviously you also want to avoid added sugars as these just increase the calorie count!
If you experience digestive problems from consuming lactose, look for a whey protein isolate product with all the lactose removed like this one or a product with an enzyme called lactase added to break down any remaining lactase and you should not experience any digestive discomfort.
Look at the fat content of any product you are considering – the lower the fat content, the fewer calories!
Add whey protein to meals and snacks prior to those times when you feel hungriest. It is always important to add protein to your breakfast, but if you suffer from mid afternoon slump when you get a real sugar craving, adding protein to your lunch or to an afternoon snack of a yogurt or fruit drink, will really help. You might find it helpful to keep a diary for a few weeks and log when you felt hungriest and were most tempted to snack on unhealthy foods and then adjust your whey protein intake times accordingly.
Whey protein should add between 100 and 130 calories for each 30 gram scoop that you add to your food. If you aim to add one to two scoops three times a day, this should add between 300 calories as an absolute minimum to around 800 calories as an absolute maximum. Common sense tells us that in order to lose weight, we need to take in fewer calories than we burn but following a very low calorie diet can be counter-productive as it can actually suppress the immune system and cause the metabolism to almost ‘shut down’ making further weight loss very difficult.
On this site, you will find lots of nutritional advice to help you lose weight safely and effectively. There is also a great section on delicious recipes for protein shakes you can make at home. Making high protein whey powder supplements part of your weight loss program will ensure long-term success and significant health benefits too.