Chances are you’re eating way less protein than you need.
You may think that the only ones who need protein are those super bodybuilders, but that’s not quite the case.
Protein is an essential nutrient needed for maintaining healthy organs, skin, tissues, and muscles. Also, your hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
Not only that but getting enough protein will make weight loss much easier and enjoyable.
Protein helps preserve lean muscle tissue, which makes you burn more calories and prevents you from losing too much muscle when dieting.
This is why you often hear people say that muscle burns more calories.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
Table of Contents
Why Is Protein Essential for Weight Loss?
Adding protein to your diet is a great way to lose weight naturally. Here’s how it can help you lose weight.
- Keeps You Full For Longer
- Burns More Calories
Protein taking longer to digest means that the body needs to use more energy (burn more calories) to do so. This is often referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF). (2)
- Helps Retain Muscle Mass During Weight Loss
You lose both, muscle mass and fat during weight loss; however, getting enough protein will help you make sure than you lose mostly fat. (3)
- Whey Protein Takes Almost No Time to Make
All you need to add whey protein to your diet is some water and a blender bottle. So it’s very convenient for those who are looking to lose weight but are often busy.
What’s The Best Time to Take Whey Protein?
- Before or After Your Workouts
Having whey protein within 30-90 minutes before or after your workout has been shown to help build muscle and have better recovery after the workout.
- Before a Meal or Going Out to Eat
Having some whey protein before a meal or going out to eat will reduce the chances of binge eating and reduce cravings so you don’t order everything from the menu.
- As a Snack or When You Feel Cravings Coming
Whey protein is typically a better choice of a weight loss snack than crackers or sugary foods.
What to Mix it With?
I personally love to mix it with unsweetened almond milk, it gives it good consistency and keeps my calories low.
You could also use water, unsweetened coconut, or unsweetened cashew milk.
Here are 4 great iced coffee protein shake recipes you can try.
Other options are mixing it with your morning oatmeal, overnight oats, greek yogurt, or smoothies.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
Protein requirements will vary from person to person, however, a common guideline is to consume between 0.7 – 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.
The heavier you are the lower on the range you should be.
So if you weigh 200 pounds, you could eat anywhere from 140 to 240 grams of protein per day.
The common dosage is 25-50 grams a day from whey protein, which ends up being around 1-2 scoops.
There’s not really a limit, but you should also consider adding protein from other food sources.
Another common question I get asked is “how much protein can I absorb in one meal?”
In order to keep this article short and sweet, I decided to cover that question in a separate article, which you can find here.
Which Whey Protein Do You Recommend?
My recommendation is Dymatize ISO 100. It mixes well, tastes very good, and has a low fat and carb content.
If you’re vegan, however, here are a few plant-based options I recommend.
It Won’t Make You Bulky
Many women fear that protein will make them bulky, but that’s simply not true. While protein is needed to build muscle, it won’t build muscle by itself.
The only way to build muscle is through lifting heavy weights, no amount of protein in the world will make someone build muscle.
And even then, building muscle through heavy lifting is still quite the challenge, so it’ll be difficult to get bulky from lifting weights a few days a week.
In order to build muscle, the muscle fibers need to be broken down (through heavy lifting) and then repaired so they can grow stronger.
If you don’t lift heavy weights, you won’t really break down muscle fibers and build them back stronger.
So stick around because you’re about to learn how to use whey protein for weight loss.
How is Whey Protein Made?
Many people believe that whey protein is a magic powder that gives people gigantic muscles, but that’s not the case.
Whey protein is nothing more than just food, and here’s how it’s made:
Whey protein is made during the process of making cheese. They add enzymes to the milk to separate the curds from the liquid whey.
You’ve probably seen some liquid form at the top of yogurt whenever you open it. Well, that’s liquid whey.
After separated, the liquid is then turned into powder form to make whey protein.
Plus, this process removes about 95% of the lactose. So if you’re lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy some whey protein powder.
The 3 Different Types of Whey Protein Powder
1. Whey Protein Concentrate
Concentrate is around 70-80% protein with low fat and carbohydrate.
2. Whey Protein Isolate
This one is processed even more than whey protein concentrate to remove almost all the fat and carbohydrates. Whey protein isolate is at least 90% protein.
3. Whey Protein Hydrolysate (Hydrolyzed Whey)
This is the easiest protein to digest as it has already gone through partial hydrolysis – a process necessary for your body to absorb protein.
This is why whey protein hydrolysate is found in many medical protein supplements and baby formulas.
So Which One Should I take?
Honestly, it doesn’t make much difference, all three types of whey protein are very low in fat and carbohydrates.
I tend to go with whey protein concentrate; however, if you’re extremely sensitive to dairy and find that whey protein concentrate doesn’t play well with your stomach, you may want to go for either Isolate or Hydrolysate (hydrolyzed).
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to use whey protein for weight loss!
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