Can protein powder be used for weight loss?

Posted by Bulk Nutrients in Weight Loss

Estimated reading time: 11mins

Can protein powder be used for weight loss?

Eating your way to weight loss

Everyone, no matter what their goals are, should be eating a balanced diet with plenty of whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly. This general advice is beneficial for most people. Of course, before embarking on any diet change or exercise plan, you should always consult with your doctor or healthcare professional. The Australian Government’s Health Direct says that following a higher-protein diet for weight loss is generally safe.

If your goal is weight loss, a balanced approach is key. You’ve probably heard all of the clichés, like “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”, and “you can’t out-train a bad diet” but that’s because it’s true – healthy, sustainable weight loss takes time and it takes you making the right choices again, and again, and again. You also can’t compensate for poor choices on your plate solely through exercise. It’s a balance of working out and eating well for healthy weight loss.

But to get into specifics, today we’ll be looking at the role of protein in your meals and how protein powder can support your weight loss goals.

Eating your way to weight loss

How does protein work?

Let’s take a quick refresher on macronutrients (or skip over this part if you’re already confident with macros).

Macronutrients are the three building blocks that humans rely upon for nutrition: they are protein, carbohydrates and fats. We eat them for energy, and they fuel cell growth in our bodies. It’s important to get the balance right.

At a glance, Healthline breaks down the macro detail as:

  • Carbohydrates - usually from sugars, starches or fibre, are broken down into glucose and used by the body for energy.
  • Fats - found in oils, butter, nuts, meat and fatty fish, also provide energy but are also required for hormone function, absorbing nutrients and maintaining your body temperature.
  • Proteins - which can come from eggs, fish, lentils and legumes, dairy products and lean meat, build your tissues (muscles), hormones, and contribute to cells and immune system function.

If you want to calculate your macros, check out the Australian Government’s Eat for Health website.

Protein is the macro we’re focused on today for our goal of weight loss.

The Australian Academy of Science reports that generally, a diet that is higher in protein and lowers in carbohydrates is effective for adults who would like to reduce their weight. They also report that when people in studies haven’t been able to get enough protein from their food, they have eaten more food to reach their protein targets. So this is where a protein powder comes in handy, you can include it in your diet to reach your protein target without consuming excess calories.

How does protein help with weight loss?

Let’s take a look at the science behind protein and weight loss, as understanding the biology may help with your mindset and assist you in sticking to your macros, or at least making better dietary choices.

Protein’s role in weight loss has been heavily researched for decades. Multiple peer-reviewed studies have found that protein is key for helping people to reduce their body weight. But, crucially, it’s not just about overall weight loss. Protein helps people lose fat while retaining lean muscle.

A 2008 study in Nutrition & Metabolism which has been cited hundreds of times, found that whey protein powder burned fat while preserving lean muscle in obese people.

It found that the group taking whey protein powder, which contained the amino acid leucine, milk calcium and bioactive peptides, lost a significant amount of weight and significantly more body fat than the control groups. The group consuming the whey protein powder also lost significantly less lean muscle mass.

Meanwhile, a 2003 study in the Journal of Nutrition found a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet was more effective for fat loss in women. Note that in this study it was fat, rather than overall weight, which was lost, meaning that lean muscle was retained. And a 1999 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that in fat-reduced diets, the high protein was superior to high carbohydrate diets for significant fat loss.

Why does this matter?

Because retaining lean muscle while losing fat is one of the best things you can do for your health. According to RR Wolfe writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, retaining lean muscle mass is vital for the obvious benefits like increased body strength, increased bone strength and increased basal metabolic rate (your body’s ability to burn calories while at rest). But also for benefits that might not be immediately obvious, like the gut’s ability to absorb amino acids and the prevention of chronic disease.

How does protein powder help you reduce body fat?

How does protein powder help you reduce body fat?

Now we have a better understanding of the role of macronutrients in overall health, and protein’s role in weight loss, it’s clear that we should be obtaining our nutrients from whole, unprocessed foods wherever possible.

However, protein powder plays an important role where it can:

  • Boost your protein intake easily on days when your macros show you’re lacking in protein consumption.
  • Be a convenient, easily absorbed source of protein when whole food options aren’t readily available.
  • Help you make a healthier choice – for example, choosing a protein shake or protein smoothie over a sugary, processed food if you’re craving something sweet.
  • Add a high-protein component to a meal – we love blending a portion of protein powder with a frozen banana and a splash of water for a healthy, high-protein ice cream alternative.
  • Help you obtain protein from a wide variety of sources for optimum nutrition – for example, if you’ve been consuming a lot of dairies, you might like to add a plant-based protein powder to the mix like Pea, Soy, Rice, Hemp or Bulk Nutrients’ Earth Protein. All of these are available on the Bulk Nutrients Plant Protein category page.

Which protein powder to use for weight loss?

Most scientific studies have looked at the role of whey protein in weight loss. At Bulk Nutrients, we’ve developed an optimum whey protein powder for weight loss, called Thermowhey, based on cutting-edge science.

We combine the most bioavailable (easily absorbed by the body), pure Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) along with Micellar Casein (Milk Protein Isolate). This way, we pack in the highest amount of protein with minimal amounts of fats and carbohydrates. Micellar Casein travels directly to the gut where it’s absorbed more slowly and effectively. This also helps with feelings of fullness, or satiety.

Together, WPI and MPI are considered fat-burning proteins, which can help you preserve your muscle mass while reducing body fat. Fat-burning proteins can help prevent muscle wastage, known as catabolism, which can happen when you’re reducing calories in your diet.

Fat-burning proteins combine fast-absorbing and prolonged-absorbing proteins, so you’re satisfied quickly and remain feeling sated for longer.

Thermowhey also contains ingredients to aid with weight loss, including:

  • Glucomannan Fibre – made from the root of the konjac plant and helps control cholesterol and prevents constipation, keeping your gut healthy (find out more about Glucomannan Fibre)
  • Forskolin – which can help in the reduction of body fat (find out more about Forskolin)
  • Sesamin – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can assist with fat burning (find out more about Sesamin)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – which can help with weight loss (find out more)
  • Green Tea Extract – which can help metabolise fat and boost your metabolism (find out more)
  • Olive Leaf Extract – which can help with inflammation, as inflammation, which can play a role in the body storing fat (find out more about Olive Leaf Extract)
  • Cayenne Pepper Extract – which can help curb your appetite and speed up your metabolism (find out more)
  • Caffeine – which can help mobilise fat from your tissues and increase metabolism (find out more)

Thermowhey comes in a range of flavours to keep your palette tempted and support you to reach for a protein shake over a calorie-laden dessert.

Why would you tuck into the empty calories of a piece (or five) of a rocky road when you can have a Rocky Road Thermowhey shake?

If you’re not sure which flavour you’ll prefer, or you’re travelling and you’d like some pre-portioned sachets to pack, the Thermowhey Sample Pack contains all seven flavours in 30g sachets.

Or, you can request a free sample of Thermowhey or any other Bulk Nutrients product listed.

Thermowhey comes in a range of flavours to keep your palette tempted and support you to reach for a protein shake over a calorie-laden dessert.

Make protein a priority in your weight-loss journey

No matter whether you’re getting your diet back on track or you’re overhauling your eating plan for a healthier lifestyle, make protein a priority macronutrient in your daily meal plan.

To help you make healthy choices and ensure you’re getting enough protein, remember that protein powder is your secret weapon. It’s so easy to mix with water and makes a satisfying snack in seconds and will keep you feeling fuller for hours.

Consider keeping some protein powder and a shaker in your gym bag so you can consume it shortly after your workout – the optimal way to ensure muscle growth and workout recovery. You can find out more about post-workout nutrition here.

And having some pre-portioned protein powder on hand at work will help curb any afternoon sweet cravings a treat. The Bulk Nutrients Protein Sample Pack gives you a variety of protein powders to try.

At Bulk Nutrients, we’re here to help

No matter what your goals are, at Bulk Nutrients, we’re here to support you.

Whether you’re an experienced athlete or just starting on your fitness journey, contact us for your free samples, advice or any questions about our products.

Call us on +61 3 6266 4725, email info@bulknutrients.com.au, chat on our website or use our online contact form.

References:

  1. Australian Academy of Science. n.d. What Is A Balanced Diet, Anyway?. [online] Available at: https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/balanced-diet.
  2. Eatforhealth.gov.au. 2019. Daily Nutrient Requirements Calculator | Eat For Health. [online] Available at: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/webform/daily-nutrient-requirements-calculator.
  3. Frestedt, J., Zenk, J., Kuskowski, M., Ward, L. and Bastian, E., 2008. A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutrition &amp Metabolism, [online] 5(1), p.8. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2289832.
  4. Gunnars, K., 2018. Can Coffee Increase Your Metabolism And Help You Burn Fat?. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-increase-metabolism.
  5. Gunnars, K., 2018. How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight. [online] Healthline. Available at:https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-tea-and-weight-loss.
  6. Kubala, J., 2018. How To Count Macros: A Step-By-Step Guide. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-count-macros.
  7. Layman, D., Boileau, R., Erickson, D., Painter, J., Shiue, H., Sather, C. and Christou, D., 2003. A Reduced Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Improves Body Composition and Blood Lipid Profiles during Weight Loss in Adult Women. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] 133(2), pp.411-417. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12566476.
  8. Patel, K., Frank, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B., 2020. Sesamin Research Analysis. [online] Examine.com. Available at: https://examine.com/supplements/sesamin.
  9. Skov, A., Toubro, S., Rønn, B., Holm, L. and Astrup, A., 1999. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 23(5), pp.528-536. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10375057.
  10. Symon, E. and Cronkleton, E., 2018. How Does Cayenne Pepper Help You Lose Weight?. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/cayenne-pepper-for-weight-loss.
  11. Teutsch, D., 2010. Olive Leaf Offers New Hope In Fat Fight. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/olive-leaf-offers-new-hope-in-fat-fight-20100703-zv0b.html.
  12. WebMD. n.d. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/alpha-lipoic-acid-ala#2-4.
  13. WebMD. n.d. Forskolin: Uses And Risks. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/forskolin-uses-and-risks#1.
  14. Webmd.com. n.d. Glucomannan: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, And Warning. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-205/glucomannan [Accessed 10 January 2020].
  15. Wolfe, R., 2006. The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 84(3), pp.475-482. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16960159.

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